Generosity of supporters and volunteers

Rev Gillian Paterson
Rev Gillian Paterson

So the saying goes, ‘patience is a virtue’ ... and how we needed to learn that as we returned from a recent holiday!

It took us two hours and 40 minutes to fly from Alicante to Edinburgh, and three hours and 40 minutes to get from the airport to on earth did it take us that amount of time?

Well, there were road works on the Forth Road Bridge and, just as we reached the approach to the bridge, there was a breakdown in the road works. We did not move for almost an hour.

We were on one of the park and ride buses and many of us had had long journeys, but what made me smile was how we all made the best of the situation – after all, what could we do?

People were helping each other out, trying to smile despite tiredness, and more than anything, there was a lot of laughter.

What could have been a nightmare journey wasn’t half as bad as it could have been.

Many years ago, St Paul wrote to the church at Galatia and urged them to think about the qualities that would make a difference to their lives.

These included kindness, goodness, love, joy, faithfulness, humility, self-control and patience.

Fast forward to 2014 and these are all qualities that would make a difference to our world in so many ways, if only more people would take them on board.

The current conflicts that are raging are provoked by the opposite of what St Paul urged. They are more about power and greed, a lack of control and hate, rather than love.

There is a huge distinction between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ in our world too. Poverty levels keep on rising, just as the number of billionaires rises too.

For me, there is something very unfair, unkind and sad about that.

There are many public figures and leaders who would benefit from adopting the qualities that St Paul spoke of as they build powerful empires, based on money and status, rather than on generosity and genuine care for others.

There is also a lot of goodness in our world, and in this community.

The generosity shown by people week after week, supporting charities, churches and community groups, is humbling, and I am privileged to see this on countless occasions.

We can be very thankful for the way the community has supported the Levenmouth Foodbank Community Support Project, for example.

This is an example of love in action, where those who have, can help those who don’t.

But there are many groups in the area covered by this paper who wouldn’t function without volunteers and supporters.

So let’s be grateful for each and every person who gives of their time and skills to help out.

Take time today to think of someone who has helped you, someone who has shown the qualities St Paul spoke of... I am sure you won’t need to look very far, for we have a community to be proud of!