As is well documented, Britain has been hit by a lot of snow (by our standards). Where I live, we’re not the worst hit by a long way, but at lunch time our children’s school was closed down. This afternoon, we heard it will be shut tomorrow. At present, we are forecast to have snow every day until Monday at least.
The children are thrilled. I am not.
Why? I love my children dearly, but having them around the house even more when I am supposed to be working is murder. They will be in my study fighting over the use of their laptop and if not fighting about that, then either monopolising Debbie’s and my desktop or just plain vanilla fighting. As children do. The hazards of being someone who works from home mean that in these circumstances much less gets done. I am the sort of person who needs peace and solitude for preparation. All on top of the fact that the conditions mean I can’t get out to coffee mornings, hospital visits and the like.
Other things have taken on a higher priority these past couple of days. I am catching up on some paperwork. I installed Windows7 on my laptop, and will upgrade the desktop when I can do a proper backup of everything first. I changed the security suite on all three computers. With Debbie’s help, the study is unusually tidy. But few of these things will impress my church members.
Other things remain constant. I am preparing a sermon for Sunday in much the usual manner. But the meeting and greeting, pressing the flesh aspects of ministry which personalise it – and on which ministers are often judged, regardless of theology or other qualities- takes a hit at times like these.
And there is little I can do about it. Oh, I can phone people instead of visiting them. I can ask the full time hospital chaplain to see someone on a ward on my behalf, all assuming he can get in to work. But these are substitute measures, and one has to hope that people will be gracious.