When I began my teaching, my first head of department was called Crispin Myerscough. On the interview day he introduced himself, and I was sure he said his name was Chris Pin. So I was shocked to see him in the interview room, being introduced formally as Mr Myerscough. The blur of interview days!
Not only was Crispin a teacher, he volunteered for the air ambulance. He managed to fit this around his role in school and as a parent. I am always so humbled and impressed when I hear stories of the extra effort given by so many to make a difference, voluntarily.
We also see the impressive and humbling choices of those who work tirelessly to make a difference based on their conviction and determination. When we look into the life of St Wilfrid, we see a saint who lived to establish the church in the north of England and many obstacles. His determination and strong confidence in his beliefs led to him facing lots of opposition from all sides. But he showed resilience and character and stood strong for what he felt was right.
James, the writer in the New Testament offers a gift money cannot buy. In James 1:4 it says, “…so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
What an offer! Who wouldn’t want some of that maturity, completeness and a life without lack? James precedes this offer with what it takes to achieve such rewards by saying,
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
St Wilfrid faced many trials and struggles as he sought to follow God’s will for his life. Are you facing a trial at the moment? Whatever you are up against, my prayer is that you will see the fruit of your determination as you grow perseverance that leads to completion. If it is persecution from others because of your determination to do what is right, then take heart, rejoice and be glad, because God has reserved a reward for you.