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Viewpoint from Rev Derrick Hill 06/10/2017 

Derrick ProfileRev Derrick Hill
Light of Life Baptist Church, Ormesby St  Margaret

as published in the Yarmouth Mercury


Due to a long standing condition, I recently attended an annual hospital check when dilating drops are applied to my eyes preventing me from driving. In the past I have often been driven to the hospital by a relative – but this year that wasn’t possible and so I travelled by bus - route one direct from my village. One of the first things I noticed as I planned the journey was how much slower it would be than by car!

Dove rightBut this slower journey had important benefits. Firstly, due to my bus pass, the journey had no direct financial cost for me! Secondly, I arrived less stressed than I might have done if I’d been battling against traffic – on both outward and return journeys the bus ran to time – and even if I’d been late for the appointment I would not have been responsible! But thirdly, and most importantly, on my return journey two different ‘strangers’ chose to sit next to me for part of the journey and in each case we struck up enjoyable conversations!

I was reminded of St Aidan, Bishop of Northumbria, who lived in the 7th century. His practice was to walk whenever he journeyed around his diocese so that he could speak on an equal footing with the local people that he encountered along the way. Once, the king gave Aidan a wonderful horse to make his journeys more ‘efficient’ – but Aidan found that, although the horse was significantly faster, yet riding past the people rather than talking with them meant that he accomplished far less!!! So Aidan gave the horse to a beggar and reverted to walking!

dove leftSo often today we live life at a hectic pace – but in so doing we achieve less and perhaps even shorten our life span due to the stress involved. Recently there has been a campaign to get people walking at least ten minutes each day to secure health gain. But, just suppose that we aimed to walk perhaps 800 yards each day but as we did so to speak to every person that we passed – even if it was just “good morning!”. Could it be that not just our health but also our community spirit would improve?

At the heart of the Christian Gospel is not busyness, but rather love for our neighbour and our God – and love grows only as we spend time sharing together

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