May Day 2015

The title given to this statement has various levels of intensity:

(1) Historically it is a spring festival in the northern hemisphere celebrated, rather oddly, on the first day of summer. This is probably accounted for by the fact that seeding had finished by the end of April and it was time for a holiday and festivities. As such it was a natural for it to become International Worker’s Day centuries later.

(2) The words “May Day” are also used as a distress call when repeated three times. It is the Anglicised pronounciation of the French word for “help me” (m’aider)

May Day 2015 had for me a number of these connotations. The catalyst was conducting a Service of Worship on the Sunday in which I became fully conscious that my immediate recall memory is fading fast. – something which is not altogether unusual in people in their eighty sixth year. Given time, my memory is still intact but I can no longer “remember on my feet”. As far as my philosophy of “you win some, and you lose some” last Sunday’s service was of the latter variety.

It should be noted at this point that the heading for this reflection is only one word and not three. There is, as far as I know, no cause for the word to be in triplicate. May Day 2015 is sufficient.

Within two days of the Service of Worship I had made two decisions:

(a) I announced to the family that I would no longer be managing the Watson Family Trusts. I would remain a trustee but the management was now over to them.

(b) I decided that I would reduce my preaching appointments to one service every five or six weeks. The space should give me adequate time to slowly work through the issues and avoid having to “think on my feet”. Strange as it may seem to some, I still feel I have something to contribute to Church and Society. I am becoming increasingly concerned at the rational and irrational optimism that abounds today. Domestic violence has reached “epidemic proportions” and we think that an interstate restraining order will solve the problem! Our society is “awash with methamphetamine” and we look to controlling the supply. When will we learn that you don’t cure a disease by treating the symptoms. Somewhere, sometime I hope we will look at the questions of why people act violently and why people take drugs.

Many will read this and say “the old man sings an ugly song”. I do not dispute this. When you have seen as much of life as I have it is not difficult to see why I sing. The Christian Faith, however,considered in the light of information not available in the first century, remains for me the elixir of life – and I hope it will remain so to the time when I return to the star dust from whence I came.

May Day 2015 is just one more step along the way.

Neville

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