Time to refocus

A THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK – Time to refocus? 12th July



Firstly let me say, I’m sure there will be some people reading this who might start thinking ‘that’s all very well for you to say, it’s not that easy for me!’ If you’re one of those people, please stick with me as I have a few words from a sixteen year old boy I’ll be quoting at the end, which I hope will be of some help.


In recent weeks, quite understandably, there’s been a lot of talk about the negative effects of the pandemic period we’re in. I’m not suggesting for one minute this shouldn’t have been the case, the effect on people’s health and mental wellbeing in particular have been and still are of huge importance. But more and more I’m seeing another side, positive benefits, yes, and even opportunities. We appear to be coming through the other side now, but it’s not over yet, and without neglecting the realities, some of us may need to consider adjusting our focus.


We often talk about people’s gifts, Paul in some of his letters has quite a bit to say on the subject. We all have different talents some very visible, some not so visible, the unseen gifts, used away from public gaze to help others in need, can be among the most powerful and important. What are our true talents and how do we use them?


A different type of gift, not talked about as often, is God’s gift of time. Time is precious, some of us waste it, others try to fill it so much they fail to stop, to savour and enjoy the moment. For many at the moment our time frames have been disturbed, I for one sometimes wake unsure of what day it is – I know it’s Wednesday because I went to choir practice last night…., not at the moment! There’s so much that could be said about time but there simply isn’t room here. Let’s just consider here what we do with any times of inactivity imposed on us by our current circumstances.


Perhaps we can use this time to reflect on those gifts God has given us (and we all have them). It’s often tempting to look at other people’s gifts and wish we had them, even try to copy them – I went through a stage of thinking I was trying to be Paul Daniels! But I’ve realised in recent weeks my talents really lay elsewhere and if it hadn’t been for this time we’re in now, I’m not sure I would have discovered that.


So my message today is look for the positive opportunities this strange time offers. The opportunity to stop, take stock, re-evaluate what we do. How do we use the God’s gift of time and the talents he’s given us? To coin a phrase ‘Our talents are God’s gift to us, how we use them is our gift to God.’


But before closing, I mentioned above those for whom these thoughts could be easier said than done. I don’t know if any of you have been watching Gareth Malone where he’s been working with people who are shielding, and writing songs with them about their situation. One young man of faith, only 16, missing his granddad, going to church and singing with him – came up with some wonderful ideas for song lyrics, snippets of which I leave with you. (If you’d like to see the program it’s available on BBC iPlayer ‘The Choir’ episode 3).


‘This is just another storm and every storm must fade.

This is just another storm, we will rebuild – together

The dawn’s not far away, the mist will clear

The sun will appear, there’s hope in our hearts’.


Prayer for today.


Almighty God,

Thank you for the gift of time.

Thank you for the different gifts you give to

Each and every person.


In times of quiet help us reflect

On what you have given us

And how we can use it

For the good of your world.

Give us the strength to do our best for you.


Help us to recognise the gifts in others,

To appreciate and encourage them,

To value everything done

For the good of Your creation

Whether loud and spectacular

Or quiet and powerful for You.


Give strength and heart to

Those who are struggling to

Find their value in life,

To see a purpose in

What is happening around them.

May they know you are with them.

Walking beside them through

Good times and the bad.


We ask it in Jesus name.