Daily reflections from the Bolton Circuit

Rev Hilary Howarth – 28th February 2021

7 Wonders

A group of students were asked to list what they thought were the seven wonders of the world. Though there was some disagreement, the following received the most votes:

  1. Pyramids of Egypt
  2. Taj Mahal
  3. Grand Canyon
  4. Panama Canal
  5. Empire State Building
  6. St Peter’s Basilica
  7. Great Wall of China

While gathering the votes the teacher noticed that one student had not finished her paper. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. The girl replied “Yes, a little. I couldn’t make up my mind because there are so many.” The girl hesitated then read: I think the seven wonders of the world are:-

  1. To see
  2. To hear
  3. To touch
  4. To taste
  5. To feel
  6. To laugh
  7. And to love

The room was so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. The things we overlook as simple and ordinary and that we take for granted are truly wondrous.

Perhaps what the last twelve months have taught it is the simple things in life, the things that aren’t built my human hand, that can’t be bought and paid for are the most precious things and are the things we may have taken for granted and shouldn’t. We will have learnt something if we come out of this with a greater appreciation for what and who matter, for what makes life worthwhile.

This last weekend was a special birthday for me. We didn’t celebrate it the way we thought we would and along with everyone else our plans had to change. Instead, the conservatory was decorated by secret elves who sneaked in and did the most amazing display; we had a zoom celebration with our family as I opened a present for every year of my life; a video put together by our granddaughter and full of messages and videos from the people who are most precious to me, which made me laugh and cry; and a stream of doorstep visits with flowers, cards and gifts. I have felt very loved and spoiled. It was wonderful. Had we not been in lockdown it would have been a different kind of celebration but I would have missed this perfect weekend. Thank you to everyone who made it so special. It is seeing, hearing and feeling love that are the most important things in life. Things we often take for granted but really shouldn’t.

In the book of Numbers in the Old Testament God tells Moses to ensure Aaron and his sons bless the children of Israel with words of grace and peace. It is one of the oldest poems in the Bible and it is the most beautiful way of saying thank you to someone you love and who you appreciate.

The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)

Prayer: Lord, help me to appreciate the small things in life that I have often taken for granted and which have become more significant during this last year, especially the people who make life worthwhile and give it meaning and fulfilment. May my words bless them and may I find ways to show them how much I love them. Amen.