Thursday, August 20, 2015

Thought for the Day

As delivered just now at BBC Radio Bristol on the day of GCSE results.

GCSE day has arrived. Many young people around our region are waiting in some trepidation for their results.

I remember the day I got mine, although they were called O Levels in those days. I got some good results and some disappointing ones. Quickly I had to renegotiate my A level courses and, to the relief of the scientific community everywhere, became a historian and geographer for the next couple of years.

Eventually, after a short career in insurance, I went to university slightly later than most, studied theology and became a vicar - a job I have loved for the last thirty years. But not what I expected at sixteen.

If you find yourself comforting someone who is disappointed today it may help them to know that there are many back doors to success and happiness.

Who can add a moment to their life by worrying about it? Who can predict the turn their career will take? How hard it is to find someone with absolute clarity about the future at sixteen.

'Listen,' says James in the Bible, 'You do not even know what will happen tomorrow ... you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.' Realists, these Bible folk.

Disappointing results may simply be God's way of eliminating physics and chemistry from your enquiries.

As my final tip to those who are happy today - if you want to be in the papers tomorrow try and be female, standing near a water feature and leaping in the air clutching a piece of paper.

Me. I have more time for the ones hiding behind the fountain in tears. It's not the end of the world and you need to know that.

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