Community in conversation

2015-10-28 06:00
Reverend    Andrew    Manning  Photo:        supplied

Reverend Andrew Manning Photo: supplied

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IT is exam time, but our whole community­ is being tested. For those in formal education the exam questions are clearly laid out and specific questions asked neatly in subject papers (let me take this opportunity to which all our pupils well in their year-end exams, but for all of us, the life tests are asked

in everyday situations, conversations with each other. We are tested in our behaviour and attitude.

As we interact with each other we must remember that we are our own “marker”, but others are asking the questions - “how will you conduct yourself under pressure, can we rely on your integrity and are you diligent?”

It’s up to each of us to prepare ourselves for each of life’s challenges and if we devote ourselves and take the time and effort, we can succeed not just in the results we achieve but with the character that is required to build community.

This time of year is stressful, we all know this, and so it is important that we are more tolerant, more patient, more understanding - do to others as you would have done unto you.

Towards the end of a hiking trail, I always find it interesting reading the demeanour of the different hikers (I am sure that runners experience the same in marathons), some people seem to get a “second wind” and suddenly have energy that has been lacking for the past few hours, some seem to have reached a pain threshold and are just slogging through (that’s usually me), some are truly at their end and cannot rally to, even though the end is so near.

It’s almost over but not yet, seems to be foremost on everybody’s minds. This time of year is a bit like that. I find myself trudging through each day, struggling to stay motivated yet aware of the big challenges that this time of year brings.

At this point, knowing that I have finished the course before, is encouraging, but it is the ability to put your head down and complete the task at hand that really counts. Other days, other tests put aside, we focus on what is to be done knowing we have what it takes because we build on every past experience. Today we can make good of all our past successes and failures - today’s test needs to be written, lived, passed.

We all have such big hurdles to cross to reach the finish line and for each one it is a different challenge, albeit a similar journey. Tensions are rising with exams upon us, financial year ends and the paradox of Christmas. Down here, where we live, we become the choice of escape venues; which for us is a stress in itself.

We need to take a deep breath and ensue that we are of the right mind-set as we negotiate the past three months of this year. As community we need to exercise extra care as we deal with each other and we need to be patient and supportive of each other. If we are truly to celebrate peace and joy we need to experience it, within ourselves and within our families and within our community. An exam is the way that the academic system measures the impact and/or result of what has been taught. Your next conversation is a test of who you are, what you believe and what role you will play in our society. Let us therefore strive to bring our hearts desires into our conversations and speak life into our community and world. - Reverend Andrew Manning

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