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Viewpoint from Frank Cliff 08/02/2019 

Dove rightFrank Cliff
Assistant Priest, Great Yarmouth Team Ministry


as published in the Yarmouth Mercury


Having now retired from my full time job as a Laboratory Manager, I have the time and space to experience the seasons of the year in all their glory and temperatures!

The promise of spring with its rain and new growth, summer with warmth and holidays, autumn with its leaves and harvest fruits, and winter with its cold and cleansing frosts. So much to look forward to and a complete change from being in a Laboratory never seeing daylight during the day
This idea of seasons is reflected throughout the churches year Christmas with its hope and expectation is behind us and the sombre days of Lent which culminate in a glorious Easter Dawn are ahead of us. Without the seasons life would be tedious and dull there would be nothing to look back on and nothing to look forward to
dove leftWe live in a wonderous creation created, formed, and shaped by one who loves us and this love is so deep, so profound that He took on human flesh became one of us so that his love could be fully understood by us
The idea of seasons applies to us as well. Phrases like ‘in the autumn of our years’  ‘spring chicken’ show that the idea of the human life having seasons is deeply ingrained in our culture and it expresses itself in our language and actions
But I see so many people refusing to accept this idea for themselves instead of accepting the change that life brings they deny it. The rise of the idea of celebrity and the effects it has on all of us, particularly our young people, is deeply worrying.  It is a paradox that the more we cling onto something the more likely we are to lose it. To resist the effects of aging or to try to mould yourself to be like some celebrity is to deny who you are. Acceptance of oneself with all the flaws and imperfections is a task that we all find difficult and yet it is that flawed, imperfect person that God most loves
There is the famous poem ‘Footprints in the Sand’ which illustrates this point. In the poem when asked “where were you when I needed you most” God replies that it was in those moments that he carried the questioner as a loving father carries his child
So I ask all of you who read thi  to acknowledge and accept your flaws, embrace change, the things you don’t like, and to see yourself as a whole human being who is loved and cherished by the God who made us

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