“Smelling your oats” is a phrase I used to hear from my dad. It came from the days when you headed for home on a horse after a day’s work; the horse knew what heading for home meant—oats. So all of a sudden, the pace picked up, new energy was found, and there had to be a bit of reining in to keep things safe.
It seems like that’s where we are with the COVID-19 shut down. We’re all “smelling our oats”; impatient to get back to gathering, keen to see folk face-to-face, keen to “get back to normal”.
I had cause to head into the Synod office a week or so ago, and I found myself visiting about four shops on the way home, just the feeling of physically being out of the suburb was liberating, and I found a way to extend the experience.
It feels like the journey out of the stage one and two COVID-19 restrictions is as hard as the journey in. We’ve made some tremendous adjustments; we’re now in a new space that’s not the same as before. We’re all adjusting and have to do new things to deal with a new reality.
I’m reminded of Paul’s encouragement to the church in Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.”
I’m hearing of leadership making the changes needed, thinking and praying through what this new environment means for worship, witness and service.
I’m deeply encouraged by the dedication, imagination and forbearance that’s happening right across the church. It’s a sign of the Holy Spirit’s power and presence amongst us.