Ansley Jottings – January

Well, here we are at the start of a new year, a time when we are prompted to look back over the past year, perhaps with mixed feelings and to look forward to all the possibilities that lie ahead.  I recognise that I do not have a very good memory for when events have happened over the years.  1066 is one exception but I can rarely give the year that an event happened, even if I remember the event itself.  I have every admiration for contestants on quiz shows who can correctly identify the year a film was released, a song was top of the charts etc.  A good memory is not needed to be aware of the many things we would like to see change for the better during 2023 and I hope we all have something in some area of life to look forward to this year.

One of the Christmas Reflections I have been using as part of “Invitation to Follow the Star” was about a Kenyan girl, Anne Wafula Strike.  Her father was sure when she was born that she would be a great athlete and gave her the second name Olympia.  Unfortunately Anne contracted polio at the age of two and was left paralysed from the waist down.  No one expected her to go on and win any races.  During all the struggles she had in education, social life, romance and parenthood, her father always encouraged her to focus on her achievements and not her problems.  She overcame many obstacles through the support and help of family, friends and teachers.

Anne reports that eventually she competed in the Athens Olympics in wheelchair racing and won a bronze medal in the World Cup in Manchester.  How did she achieve this?  She says it was through trusting in God, with the support of family and by never giving up.

We may have struggles or worries as this New Year begins.  Perhaps we should remember that we have come through difficult times in the past.  We do not know what the future holds but we can as Christians place ourselves in God’s hands, knowing that He wants the best for us.

A prayer

Jesus, draw near to anyone who feels overwhelmed by problems.  Help them and all of us to look to you for inspiration and hope whatever may lie ahead of us.  Amen