Come on, you can do it!
How often have we had those words directed at us when we have been in a challenging situation? They are designed to be words of encouragement and they may just give us that extra bit of impetus to see us over the line. On the other hand, if we are beginning to lose the will to keep going, they could possibly have the opposite effect and we may feel even more tempted to give up. I hope that you will have experienced the positive effect and felt a sense of achievement in the event of success.
All being well, we should be back in the ringing chamber before too long. Some of us may wonder if we have forgotten how to ring after such a long time. I don’t think there is much to worry about there. I have heard it said that learning to ring is like learning how the ride a bicycle – once you have done it, you never forget. Even so, I know for sure that I shall have to read up some of the methods to refresh my memory before taking a rope. There will be some who may struggle when taking up ringing again. Positive encouragement must surely have a big part to play here. Feeling discouraged is not a pleasant experience and it’s not only the right words that matter, it’s how they are said. Notice how Saint Paul in his letters focuses on encouragement – particularly in the final stages of his second letter to the Corinthians. All down the ages, people have drawn comfort and inspiration from his writings.
Here is a possible thought on which to ponder: as we return to regular ringing, whenever that may be, we may need to provide encouragement to others. What words shall we use and, probably just as important, how can we provide them in a way that is likely to result in a positive outcome?
Reader at St Peter’s Church, Formby
in the Diocese of Liverpool