December 2021

"Be a Courteous Driver"

Motorways have digital signs which display messages like: “Warning: Heavy Rain Forecast”. When there aren’t any immediate problems, they put up signs like “Always wear your seatbelt” or “Don’t drink and drive”. But the one I like best is “Be a courteous driver”.

People, I find, are generally courteous, and I appreciate it. It is most helpful when I get in the wrong lane and people courteously allow me to switch. Or when I am pulling out into traffic, a courteous driver pulls back to let me in. I make a point of giving a thank you wave.

When a bus wants to move out and you allow it to do so, the driver usually says thanks by a couple of flashes on his emergency lights. It is good to be courteous and good to show appreciation of courtesy.

Just as Christmas is not just for Christmas but for all the year round, so courtesy is not just for roads but everywhere else. I was reminded of this last Wednesday when we went Christmas shopping. The supermarket was packed with shoppers and trolleys, and we had to drive our trolley with courtesy!

Courtesy is a Christian virtue: a condensation of those qualities described in Galatians 5:22-23 as the fruit of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”.
It is a way of showing love and consideration to others even if they make silly mistakes; indeed, especially if they make silly mistakes; and as the saying goes “Practice makes perfect”.

Perhaps they should put that up on the motorway signs also!

Have a Happy and Courteous New Year!


The Real Santa

You might have seen in the news that a Sicilian bishop had to apologise because he’d told some children that Santa wasn’t real.

But isn't he? The real message of Christmas is all about hope and love. Santa might not be a jolly chap who delivers presents in the dead of night, but he symbolises all the people who share their love, without expecting thanks. He teaches us how to have belief in something we can’t see or touch. He brings gifts even though we’re not as good as we’d like to be.

We are each a Santa when we creep about in the night, hoping children won’t wake up while we leave gifts. It’s an exciting and happy feeling, knowing we’re bringing joy to them. Belief in God brings us joy, and giving to others in any way reflects that joy. Imagine if we thought of ourselves as Santa, bringing happiness in all we did. As Jesus said, whenever we do something for someone else, we do it for him.

Let’s be more Santa in our approach of giving kindness to others, quietly and without looking for thanks.

And that’s why Santa still visits our home.


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