Great Casterton Parish Council

Serving the people of Great Casterton

Clerk: Derek Patience
29 Priory Gardens, Stamford

Tel: 01780 753066

August Newsletter

Have you ever ridden a roller coaster? You know a proper real biggie like the ones in Blackpool Pleasure Beach or Alton Towers.

At our recent Primary School Leavers' service in church I asked this question and nearly every hand went up. Roller Coasters fill us with every possible emotion, even before we step on board. We feel anxious as the train ascends that long climb to the top. We have a firm grasp on the front bar as we look at the folk on the ground getting smaller and smaller. Then as we pass over the top and speed down the first gradient we can be frightened or exhilarated. Some folk even raise their hands in the air to show how brave they are (not me). Then we get tossed to left and right, turned upside down in a loop the loop, spinning and turning, almost out of control. Hands firmly grasping the front bar. Eventually it all comes to a sudden stop and we are finished. Our first reaction on completion is that we want to do it all over again.

Riding a roller coaster is a bit like experiencing life with all it challenges and disappointments with all its highs and lows. On a roller coaster no one ever gives us advice, unlike the walk of life. In life's roller coaster there is no shortage of advice on what to do, how to do it and the qualifications we need in order to get to a successful career.

But we need to be careful who we take advice from. Some of it may be contradictory to the advice given yesterday by someone else. At the end of life God is not going to enquire what our grades were at A Level or what university we went to. He will enquire whether we were kind to our fellow human beings. Did we do our bit to look after the planet. Did we help those who needed our help.

Sometimes we can get be so focused on ourselves that we forget that we live in community. Don't get me wrong education is a great asset and one which we should strive to do well at, but we also need to recognise that not all of us are academic.

So no matter where life leads us, enter into it with a cheery attitude. Always try and do the best we possibly can, no matter what it is. Remember God has given us gifts. We all have them, it's just that the gifts you have are different from the ones you're friends have.

Some of us are good at sport. Some are good at history and some are good at mathematics. Some of us are good making things with our hands and others are good at planning. If we all had the same gift life would be boring. So enjoy the gifts you have been given and enjoy the gifts others have been given.

If someone does well in a subject or on a job congratulate them and you will have a friend for life. Remember that as we go through life there will be people who are better than us at certain things and there will be those who will not be as good as us. Our position on the ladder of success changes as we mature.

Somebody famous once said success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. What that means in short is that if we work hard, even if we are not naturally clever, success can still come our way. Richard Branson the boss of the Virgin Empire never went to university and yet he is chief executive of a multinational company.

We need to listen to the people around us and if someone tells us we are good at this or good at that, take that advice seriously. People do not give those sorts of comments away cheaply. In all that we do as we go forward from here, have no regrets. Keep talking to God and He will provide us with the best advice.

So, God's speed on your journey of life, no matter what stage you are presently at. May it be for you the joyous and fulfilling adventure that it has been for me. Above all else keep smiling, hold on tight and enjoy the roller coaster of life.

My challenge to you all this summer is to take an extreme roller coaster ride and reflect on just how similar it is to life.

God Bless

Rev'd. Don