James, Headteacher at our North Birmingham Education Centre, has been reflecting on this new season we find ourselves in. Amongst the disruption, anxiety and grief, James speaks of a hope in the brokenness, and how this hope can give us strength to face the day.
Last night our littlest toddler took an age to get to sleep. Usually he has a relatively good sleeping pattern for his age, but on this occasion he was still wide awake at 10.30pm, more awake than anyone else in the whole house! I suddenly remembered that our big toddler had the same challenge last year when we moved towards summer and the nights got lighter. I had been starting to wonder whether this was going to become a key feature of our evenings for a long time to come, but it was comforting to remember that it didn’t last forever last time, and it won’t last forever this time either.
This same comfort is available to you too, whatever challenges you’re going through. It’s true for us all facing the current coronavirus pandemic: it might feel awful now and that there’s no way this could ever end, but it will. Right now we have to adapt, just like we might have to adapt our evening routine as a family with the lighter nights, but the season will change again, it won’t last forever.
It’s true also for whatever issues you’re facing in your own life; at home, at work, in your own mental or emotional health. Sometimes you need to take action, such as calling a friend, seeking support from a professional, or leaving a toxic workplace or friendship. Sometimes you just need to keep going with renewed determination. But time is your friend: it will keep moving at exactly the same pace however strange the world around you seems, echoing the unchanging, unshakeable nature of the One who created it and holds it all together. Each day will end, and eventually each season will end, heralding the start of a new and different one.
So, let’s observe the seasons changing in the physical world around us: the days getting hotter and longer, flowers and blossom coming into bloom, leaves on trees looking an especially vibrant shade of green. Let’s try to find glimpses of the season changing on a metaphorical level too, in whatever situations we’re facing, and cling onto them: let them encourage you and bring you hope. Where possible, let’s try to find the beauty in the season we’re in, even if it’s hidden among brokenness. Whatever’s happening in the world, our country, your home, and even in your own mind and emotions, things will change. This season will pass, as they always have done. Keep going, one step at a time - you can do this.
James is the Headteacher at one of TLG's Education Centres. He is married with 2 young children aged 1 and 2. He began his teaching career as a primary school teacher in Stoke-on-Trent and has been at TLG since 2016