‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’ (Jeremiah 29.11)
7.20 am: Breakfast
8.00 am: A communion. Even people of faith get weary and a little lost at times. They’re exhausted by the slog, disappointed at themselves and circumstances, and frustrated by failure and loss. The conditions of their lives appear to deteriorate, in spite of sincere prayers for improvement. Deep longings overwhelm them, with little prospect of ever being fulfilled. Day follows day in bland and predictable succession, as in a time of grief. (As it is, so will it remain.) Life no longer seems to have either direction or purpose.
The surety that even their most bewildering and discouraging experiences form part of a grander scheme that ultimately leads to their betterment, is a sustaining consolation. Even though that plan may be inscrutable, it’s no less real for that. The motivation that lies behind it is nothing less than the greatest love directed towards their highest good.
8.30 am: Inbox trawl, and adjustments to the day’s diary of tutorials. 9.00 am: There was time for a little writing before taking the old track to the School to begin a day of MA tutorials, for the most part. From the Diary for this date in 2016:
10.40 am: Off to School, under the grey and dispiriting inertia of cloud cover. (How curiously our moods align themselves to the weather.) 11.00 am: An MA pastoral meeting was followed by a micro-tutorial with a third-year painter on the topic of canvas staining, using a dilution of washing-up liquid. 11.30 am: The first of two MA Fine Art tutorials. Both students were steaming ahead, clear in their minds regarding what they were doing and passionate to push beyond their best efforts to date.
2.00 pm: Vocational Practice reconvened. It was good to have them back together again. They’ve been an outstanding group; a joy to teach. We discussed the implementation of what we’d learned last semester and the completion of assignments. 3.00 pm: Itty-bitty admin. (The granular sort, that gets easily mislaid down the back of the settee.) 4.30 pm: following a rescheduled micro-tutorial with a third-year painter, I headed down to the Old College for the final MA Fine Art tutorial.
5.20 pm: Homeward, as the sea turned teal against the neutral cloud bank, which threatened rain and followed me home … dribbling:
7.30 pm: Admin begets admin begets admin. There’re times when I approach the screaming edge. ‘In a hundred years, none of this will matter’, is the common conciliatory wisdom. No … Next week, none of this will matter.