Most of the time the news is not only depressing, but generally boring. But not recently: over the last week all that has changed. Everything now is surprising and changing at an alarming rate. One moment the English football team have managed to get the dream draw in the last sixteen of the Euros, the next moment they have crashed out to a team managed by a part-time dentist. One moment the frontrunner in the Tory leadership race is Boris Johnson, the next moment he has crashed out, betrayed by his closest ally. One moment the world number one and rock-solid favourite to win Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic, is cruising through the early rounds, the next moment he has crashed out to a second-tier American who most of us hadn't heard of. One moment the labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is quietly minding his own business, the next moment he is under siege by his own parliamentary colleagues. What's going on?
As I left home for church this morning, I stepped out of the door and heard the familiar crunch of a snail beneath my feet. The poor creature had inadvertently wondered across my path, and there sadly met its end. This jolted my memory to something that happened last week. Like today, I was leaving home and encountered snails. There was one slithering across my home's door as I locked up. Then a second one scaling the door of my car. What are all these snails doing? I sensed God speaking to me about snails and doors*.
In contrast to the giddy pace of change in the sporting and national news, most worthwhile things arrive very slowly. This is certainly true of the Go and Grow project. Progress often feels painfully slow, with one small advance cancelled out by a correlating setback. Like a snail progressing around a door, it is hard to see any noticeable advancement. But as the old Guinness advert said: "good things come to those who wait".
- I wrote this blog immediately before heading out to church this Sunday evening. At the service, in the introduction to his sermon, Mike Pavlou told a joke about a snail and a door, which in the context of the blog I'd just written was quite freaky. I took it as a confirmation. To hear Mike's joke go to www.stbarnabas.co.ukhttp://www.stbarnabas.co.uk (although frankly the joke was not that funny).