The Lay Reader's Letter (written by Gordon Gray) extends the tradition of the Vicar's Letter which has been appearing in the villages Focus magazine since August 2002
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Lay Reader's Letter

July 2009

It will soon be holiday time - sighs of relief from pupils and teachers alike - so many of us in our villages will get a change of scenery over the next few weeks. We need a break - life seems to go at such a hectic pace these days.

Of course, holidays aren't always straightforward affairs - the media is keen to tell us about holiday disasters - but, fortunately, most people will come back with happy memories and I hope that applies to you. Many of us will bring back photographs of special places we have visited, mementos of somewhere we have found to be special or simply we will sport suntans that are far too dark to have originated in this country.

Holiday makers will see sights they find beautiful, feel the warmth of the sun on their backs, experience relaxed atmospheres that seem so unlike what we get at home.

Yes, holidays are very special and there is temptation to think that life would be so much better, we would be so much happier, if only we lived somewhere else. But this is ironic, first because the places we visit are populated by people who think that where they live is boring and, second, because we often have visitors who enthuse about how beautiful our villages are, and what a fantastic place this must be to live.

Perhaps it is simply a human weakness to think that the grass is greener on the other side; but what if we could see our villages through the eyes of visitors? What if we could look at the village in which we live and say 'What a beautiful place - this is a fantastic place to live'?

And as soon as we see the positive sides of our home villages then we can begin to lift up our eyes to whatever we think of as God and say 'Thank you, I am truly blessed'.

Yes, look around you and see the blessings that daily come your way, not just in nature but in all aspect of your life. The gift of life, the gift of people with whom to share it, the gift of clean water, of enough food ... The list is endless.

In the words of the song If Today Was Your Last Day, by Nickelback, "each day is a gift, not a given right". Don't spend your life wondering about what it could be like if only you were in some other place; go out and live it today - and be thankful.

Gordon - Lay Reader at St Mary's Eaton Bray

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About the Vicar's Letter

The Vicar's Letter has been appearing in the villages Focus magazine since August 2002.

The Rev. Peter Graham also used to publish The Vicar's Letter in the parish magazine of 1964. Please see the area for these.