Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
I have tried over the last year or so to publish on a theme of gratitude. I hope to be able to continue to do that and so I will start the New Year on a note of thanksgiving.
God turns up in the most unexpected places. It is just a matter of opening one’s eyes to see as you will find in this little illustration:
Over the Christmas/New Year holiday period Network Rail takes the opportunity to carry out major engineering work. All well and good for the future but it does make rail travel during this time very difficult. For one thing trains may be cancelled at short notice, or start and terminate at unexpected stations, with the rest of the journey is taken by bus. Members of our family travelled down by train to be with us at Christmas. They were expected to arrive in the evening. Of course we intended to collect them from the station. Due to engineering work the train would terminate at a nearby station. It was not one with which we were familiar. My wife suggested that we should check out the station earlier in the day to ensure we knew where to pick them up. Just as well she did! On arrival marshals on the station gate refused entry to cars as the car park was full with rail replacement buses taking passengers on their onward journey. We explained that one of our family was disabled, not expecting to sway the decision. However, the marshal took a note of our car number plate which he said he would pass to his colleague who would be on duty that evening. He assured us we would be allowed to enter to pick up our visitors. I did not hold out too much hope that he would do as he said.
When we returned that evening it was cold, damp and foggy. The marshals would have been standing outside for a long boring period of time. Nevertheless, the message had been passed on. His colleague had our details and insisted on walking in front of us as we drove through the car park avoiding the buses, to the station entrance where we were able to collect the family.
That is where I saw God that day, in the kindness of strangers.
Do keep your eyes and ears open this year as you never know where God will appear in your life. It may be in something quite simple. But when He does then your response must be one of gratitude; which I think is where we came in.
I wish you all a New Year in which peace will prevail.
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years