from Rev. Bruce Wood - July 2016
in News First — our monthly church newsletter
wonder if you know who this is? My father was an aircraft engineer, and
my mother was a science technician - they first met on a train. As a child
I wrote fantasy stories which I read to my sister - at school I was an ordinary
student - in 1982 I took the entrance exams for Oxford University, but failed.
the next seven years my mother died, my first child was born, I was divorced
from my first husband - and I lived on state benefits for many of those years.
I saw myself as a failure - I was diagnosed with clinical depression - I was as
poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless.
first job was as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International
- where I conceived the idea for my book. I submitted the manuscript to
twelve publishing houses, all of which rejected it. A year later I was
finally given the green light - and a £1500 advance - on which to live. I
am J. K. Rowling - author of the Harry Potter series of books.
her persistence and her passion in the face of considerable odds, this series of
books would never have been written. She also talks about the benefit of
failure, because it gave her the focus and the determination to succeed in the
one area of her life where ‘I truly belonged’.
are you passionate about? What is it that when you see it, or hear about
it, or someone else is talking about it - it grabs hold of you and won’t let
go? What images, or words, disturb your sleep, interrupt your thoughts,
makes you weep? What is it that your heart aches for?
of us has something unique and important to offer, something that is crucial to
the functioning of our family, our community, our church, and our world -
something to contribute to the rich diversity needed in our community, and to
the world in which we live. Each of us has a God given giftedness that
needs to be fed, and nurtured, and developed - and that’s where the
persistence comes in.
will only get us so far - the rest of the journey is determined by our
persistence. Nagging won’t get us very far - neither will yelling
louder, or longer. What will get us to our goal is persistence. We
have to put in the effort if we want results. We are the ones who have to
take the responsibility for our living, and our success. In this case, the
buck stops with us.
when we do act from our giftedness, other people respond, because they can see
that we have something going for us - something that brings us alive - something
that produces energy and vision - something that is infectious, and a joy to
watch, and to participate in.
says to us to “search and you will find” because in life, we benefit just as
much from the searching and the failing - as we do from the finding.
It’s often in the process of searching, and riding the knock-backs, that we
find the most value. God would also say to us - keep on searching, keep on
asking, and keep on knocking - be persistent, so that you find what it is that
you are passionate about, what it is that you are gifted at - and then - share
your gift with the community of which you are a part.
Peace, Rev. Bruce Wood.