Planning Ahead…

Planning Ahead

I have received the result of my Greek exam, and despite my worries I did unexpectedly well. In September I start an MA in Christian Thought and Practice (which is basically Theology for people who didn’t do theology for their undergraduate degree) and I hope to choose Hebrew as the optional subject. It’s validated by Manchester University and is all very exciting and scary.

One of the worrying things about exams is that anything can happen on the day, and if you wake with a headache or the roof falls in, then it’s tough—you just have to make the best of it. I am someone who likes to plan ahead, so that whatever happens, I am prepared. Perhaps having animals has taught me this, because if I leave things until the last minute, an animal is sure to upset the plan.

I love an excuse to read a new book.

As soon as I was accepted for the MA, I looked at the books in the pre-course reading list. How exciting! I love an excuse to read a book. Some were expensive, so will have to be loaned from the library (or not read) but a few were within budget (ie, wouldn’t be commented on when the credit card bill arrives!) so I ordered them—three paperbacks and one on Kindle. I will write a review for you when I have read them (unless I hated them, as I don’t review books I dislike).

They arrived quickly, and my main surprise was the size! It seems that the price of theology books is not an indication of their size. There will certainly be room for them on my bookshelf…

Another plan is for Lent next year. Yes, I know that Lent is ages away, but I also know that I have a slightly compulsive personality, and when term starts in September every moment and thought will be taken up with study plus family commitments, so anything extra should be prepared now, while I have time. Don’t stop reading, because this involves you too.

I decided a while ago, that for Lent 2022, rather than give up chocolate or alcohol or whatever, I would give up some time and learn a Psalm by heart. Good for the brain. Psalm 22 is basically a poem about what happened at Easter.

I hope you will join me, so this week I wrote out the Psalm and divided it into 40 segments (one for each day in Lent) ready to post on my blog. I thought it would be good to learn it in another language, so also wrote it out in Hebrew. This looked rather daunting, but achievable. I decided that I will do it as a sponsored event, and raise money for Tearfund. The easiest way for people to give is via either a Just Giving page or a Facebook Charity page. I decided to use Just Giving, looked on their website, and discovered it was very easy to make a page. I made one, which will sit there, like a lemon, until next spring. I think Tearfund will be alerted that the page has been made, so they will look at it and think I am Billy-no-mates because I won’t start collecting sponsors until next year! In 2022 I hope lots of people will generously sponsor me, and each day I will learn a few lines of the Psalm.

Now, you would think that dividing a poem (because a Psalm is basically a poem) would be easy. I knew that Lent started after Ash Wednesday, so began distributing lines of poetry across the days. Then I thought I had better check my dates, because I wasn’t raised in an Anglican church and the dates of Lent are fuzzy. My dates were wrong. Lent begins ON Ash Wednesday. I rewrote the distributed lines of poetry.

Then I mentioned to my family what I was planning. Son 1 informed me that Lent doesn’t include Sundays. That sounded wrong. I checked. He was correct—Lent is 40 days, beginning on Ash Wednesday and not including Sundays. I rewrote the distributed lines of poetry again. This was proving harder to get right than learning the thing will be!

I added the Hebrew version underneath. I will upload it on my blog, so next Lent, all my followers will receive a snippet of the poem to learn each day. Learning things is achievable if they are broken into little bits and read often. I will write out the lines and stick them on the fridge, and the mirror in the bathroom, and next to my bed. It will be good for my brain, fun to achieve, and hopefully raise some money for Tearfund.

Now, here’s the thing—will you join me? I can add another language if you fancy learning the poem in French or Spanish or Mandarin, or whatever. You just need to let me know. The aim will be to try and learn a small section every day (if we don’t manage the whole thing, then it doesn’t matter).

If you want to be sponsored, which I think will be very motivational, then you can either make your own sponsor form, or use one of the online ones, or if you want to be added to mine, I can edit it so it shows other people too. If you want to be added, let me know your name, the language you plan to learn it in, and how much you think you will raise and I will add it to my page.

I realise that Lent 2022 is ages away, but now is the time to plan it, and then it will be put in your diary and it will actually happen. It doesn’t matter where you are, you can learn a poem anywhere. Things that are ‘left for later’ usually never happen in my experience. Plus, it’s better to plan ahead, because it’s so far in the future that it isn’t scary at all (I suffer a lot with ‘scary’!)

So there you are, a challenge for you to think about. Which language would you like to learn the poem in? I am excitedly waiting to hear from you…

Hope you have a motivated week. Take care.
Love, Anne x

P.S. I have now read ‘Enduring Treasure,’ the first book on my list. I will post my review of it next week, so be sure to look for it.

Anne E. Thompson
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