John Denney, 2 June 2000


People are always on the move these days.  A day or two ago, some bloke took off from Spitzbergen in a hot air balloon fitted with a wicker basket, aiming for the North Pole.  He eventually landed 12.9 miles away.  One of his support crew was ecstatic.  “He didn’t land 50 miles away,” crowed the man at base camp.  “He didn’t land 25 miles away.  He couldn’t have got any closer.”  Well … er … actually, he could have got 12.9 miles closer!  Perhaps you can tell I’m distinctly underwhelmed with Mr Hempleman-Adams’ effort.  Incidentally, we’ve all been overwhelmed by something, but have you ever been just whelmed?


But I guess like many of us I’m rather whelmed by the news that Martin O’Neill is on the move.  He has left Leicester City Football Club and moved up North.  Not as far as the North Pole, but certainly to foreign parts to join Celtic Football Club in Glasgow.  I’m sure that we wish him well in his new club, despite our disappointment that he has gone.  He’s given us four and a half years of success and left us in good shape for the European and Premiership challenges for next season.  And we hope that the Filbert Street Board will soon come up with a top-flight manager to step into Martin O’Neill’s shoes.  But I imagine the whole of the City and county is going to be a little unsettled until then.


Changes can be upsetting.  There’s a truism that the only constant thing in life these days is constant change.  Supermarkets are forever switching their displays about confusingly.  Road markings get changed overnight.  Television programmes start later than advertised because some sporting event overruns, and you come back to find you’ve videoed the wrong thing.  The ways we work are forever changing, and computer systems and the Internet and mobile phones and new bus timetables all add to the pressures of life.  And right now, some of you are in a rush to get ready to go out and be off to work, or off to the shops, or off to the doctor’s.  And in a moment, I’ve got to be off.  People to see, places to go, you know.


But here’s an antidote to all the fuss and bother in our daily life.

Jesus said Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  [John 14:27]


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