Sunday, 1 February 2004

Opening Up

Sometimes I get the feeling that I'd like to pack in being a Vicar.  (After all, I'm only a fairly normal bloke and still quite young).  In fact for a significant time last year I decided that the time had come. But what with one thing and another, things seem to have fallen back into place and for now at least I suspect that we shall be around for a while yet!
Having thought seriously about leaving and having come back from the brink so to speak has made me appreciate even more the good things about living in Worsbrough.  Here are just two of them: We can walk out of our house and within a few dozen yards be looking out on a view as striking as any you could wish for.  We have a good school for our girls almost literally on the doorstep.
Jemima has been attending the pre-school for 2 months now and absolutely thrives on it.  Imogen is into her second term at nursery and starting to really settle in and gain in confidence.  We have found one of the easiest temptations to a parent - to bombard a child with questions as soon as you pick them up from school: What have you been doing? Who did you play with? Did you drink your milk? Bang! Bang! Bang!  I suppose it's only because you care so much as a parent that you forget so completely how tiresome it was to be pestered in such a way by your own parents.  The effect is often to silence a child completely.
I'm a great believer in questions - there is nothing more important but it's also important how you pose them.  They can be tools for liberation but can also feel like instruments of control.
I'm trying, with Imogen, to use the phrase I wonder.  "I wonder if there were biscuits for snacks today." - appearing not to mind whether she is even listening or not.  Almost every time she is in there like a shot confirming or better still putting me right.
The great thing about the view in Worsbrough is the sense of openness and space that it brings.  Good questions bring the same sort of freedom.  I get disillusioned with the Church when it seems to be a closed shop, when it's doctrines seem designed to control and manipulate the way we think.  However, on my good days I'm committed to believing that it doesn't have to be and mustn't be that way.
It was a year and a half later that I finally did move on!