Autumn Blues

So how was your Summer?  Did you get that break?  Was it a time of refreshment, renewal and inspiration?  Or a downer and a disappointment?

In the third week in August A level results were, as usual, being trailed in the media.  There would be less A grades than in the previous two years – to prevent ‘grade inflation’, not because the students were any less able, or had less potential.  The same would be true for the GCSE results the following week.  And so it proved.

We can become caught up in notions of ‘success’ and ‘failure’, of ‘good luck’ and ‘bad luck’, of ‘things going well’  and ‘things going badly’.

A number of years ago something went wrong with the A level Maths results and many students didn’t get the grade they expected.  Not only were they disappointed, many were unable to go to the university of their choice.  I often wonder what happened to them.  Was it so bad?  For how many of them was it the best thing that happened in their lives?

A Chinese peasant farmer had one horse to help him with his work.  One day it escaped and ran away.  His neighbours commiserated with him.  “You’ll have such hard work without a horse to pull and carry things for you.”  That’s such bad luck.  “Maybe.  We’ll see”, said the farmer.  Sometime later the horse re-appeared and with him a small herd of horses.  “All those horses. You’re so lucky,” said the neighbours.  “Maybe” said the farmer.  His son was breaking-in one of the horses, fell off and broke his leg.  “Oh dear, you’ll struggle without his help.  That’s such bad luck,” they commented.  “We’ll see,” said the farmer.  A war broke out and all the young men were called up for military service.  “ Your son won’t be able to go and fight.  How lucky you are.”   “Maybe.  We’ll see,” said the farmer………

……Jesus of Nazareth – success or failure, inspiration or disappointment?

Chris Dawson

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