The valley was buzzing today as I drove up to lead worship in St Catherine's Church. The extended spell of hot dry weather that we have been enjoying locally has clearly drawn people out. Campsites were busy, as were pub gardens. Visitors and locals alike were enjoying the sunshine and taking time out to relax.
It looked quite idyllic, but there is always another story to be told. The lack of rain is having a real impact for the farmers and they are desperate for the rain that many of us are so happy to be without. However we perceive a situation we can be sure that for others it looks quite different. Dealing with difference is one of the challenges of living in community and this always becomes intensified when resources are limited. One of the fundamental limits on life in the valley is that we only have one road and in the summer there is a lot extra traffic for that road to cope with. Basically that means we all need to be a bit more attentive and take our time.
No matter how familiar we are with the road at this time of year, around ever corner there may be; a walker with a dog, a child on a bike, a stuck caravan, a stray lamb, a tractor and trailer, a motorbike, several motorbikes, the school bus, a stone from a collapsed wall, a sportscar that 'can't reverse', a young mum with a pushchair a dog and a toddler. Some of the people on the road will be on holiday relaxed and enjoying the view, others will be working to much tighter deadlines. For both there is the temptation to be not quite as careful as they need to be.
Being aware that there people around us who have a very different take on life, is important. Its another way of recognising that living sensitively to those differences, helps us to keep us all safe.
Go with God