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Look Both Ways Before You Cross

Green Cross Code

When the children of St Dominic’s come across to the Church for Mass, a service, or a visit, I am full of admiration for the bravery of our teachers and support staff who supervise their crossing of the road.

They boldly step out where others would fear to tread, holding out one hand to stop the traffic, while they usher the children safely across with the other. I sometimes wonder what would happen if someone didn’t stop, then I look at our staff and think, “nah, they wouldn’t dare!”

Of course, the children are well kitted out in high visibility jackets, offsetting the green of their uniforms (o, yes, fashion matters here in Strathearn, you know), and have been drilled to within an inch of their lives on road safety.

Even, shall we say, the dreamier boys and girls, go into alert mode, looking right, then left, then right again, listening all the time, and thus efficiently traversing the busy thoroughfare - yes, we do get busy roads in this part of the world.


It is thought by many that the month of January is named for the Roman god Janus. This would make sense since he was the god of the beginning and end of conflicts, of doors, passageways and transitions! He is the god of two faces, looking to the future and the past. It seems propitious – I do like the word propitious – to mention this as we come to the end of January and towards the end of our series of ‘Getting Back to Normal’.

Even though we like to think that the New Year brings new beginnings, many of us spend January still dealing with the hangover from last year – bookkeepers and runners of small businesses have a special place in my prayers.

Also, we may have sprung bravely onto the road hoping for a better journey in life, only to realise that the past is still clinging onto us, or we are still clinging onto it. That’s OK. Without the past we are no one. A ‘Kleenex’ approach to life where we just crumple up the past and try to throw it away becomes messy very quickly.

Yes, by all means look forward, but look back as well. Look both ways, listening all the time. If you don’t look both ways in life, you might get run over by the past, or the future, or both!

Prayer Suggestion

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Revelation 22, 13

In the very last chapter of the very last book of the Bible, the Lord points out that all roads lead to him, basically. With him at the centre, consider your past and future. Don’t be afraid of either, for he is there always.

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