November 2015

With shorter and colder days November arrives, bringing with it first All Saints Day and then Remembrance Sunday – both occasions when we remember those who are no longer with us. In church, the Bible readings begin to focus our attention on our eternal home.

November follows October, when I have a birthday. This year I’ve had a Big Birthday, and my eternal home feels nearer than usual. Now that I no longer pay prescription charges the NHS has taken a greater than usual interest in my well-being, which is how I found myself at the doctor’s surgery seeing the practice nurse. She promptly urged me to give up ice cream, cakes, and just about everything else that I enjoy and take more exercise if I wanted to do more to avoid going to my eternal home too soon.

So I bought a bicycle. I had one years ago, but hadn’t been on one in years. The purchase made, after a few circuits of the Vicarage lawn I was ready for the road. I set off, savouring the benefits of fresh air and exercise as I went. Arriving back, I found myself torn between making a cup of tea and giving myself the last rites. The trip had proved Nurse’s point.

Five centuries ago, St Teresa of Avila wrote a terrific prayer about Jesus having no body now on earth but ours, and about how he uses our hands to bless now and our feet to go about doing good. So unless we look after our bodies, Jesus doesn’t get very far.

Well, so far he’s made it to West Hougham and back - so I’m improving. Will it make a difference to when I go to my eternal home? Maybe, if I can avoid the potholes… Brian