Well, I hope that you have had a good Summer. Everything has started up again here as I imagine it has where you are too. I commented in Church on Sunday on how we have the Church's year beginning at the end of November, the New Year on January 1, Chinese New Year at the end of January, the financial New Year on April 1, but that for me September and the start of the new academic year was, for me, the significant one.
It is partly because of my involvement in education and partly because in the UK where I grew up, September was when the weather seemed to start to change - for the better, as far I was concerned. Whatever the reason, this new academic year brings some interesting anniversaries for me.
I was inducted as Vicar of Christ Church, Kowloon Tong on September 10, 2000 so Friday will mark the tenth anniversary of my time as Vicar here. I was born in 1955 and so in October I will be celebrating my 55th birthday, and then towards the close of this academic year at the end of June, it will be the 30th anniversary of my ordination. Quite a few milestones then and obvious cause for reflection, but, hopefully, not too much introspection. Don't worry I won't go on about it much in these posts or anywhere else for that matter. However, I thought I might be permitted to at least mention it here!
I also wrote a bit here about my feelings on reaching my 25th anniversary as a priest. My feelings haven't changed. My overwhelming emotion as I reach these various milestones is that I wish I had done more and achieved more.
When I was first a curate I found myself taking many funerals. The hymns were nearly always the same: 'Abide with me' and 'The Lord's my shepherd'. I wasn't too fond of 'Abide with me' in those days, but over the years it has become one of my favourites. We don't sing all the verses that Lyte wrote for it nowadays. One of them, however, seems particularly apt:
My hope is that the close is a good while off yet and that regrets about the past will spur me on to try to do more, if God spares me, in the years ahead.