Someone once said, “When was it the last time that you did something for the first time?”  That had me thinking.

Is there something I could do for the first time?

Recognising acts of kindness and doing something kind for someone else is something new we could do for the first time.  This is because it kick starts a chain reaction of generosity and thoughtful behaviour, brightening the mood of friends, build community in our Claydon villages, neighbours, schools and strangers alike.  Can you imagine the impact doing something for the first time?  Paying it forward in new ways feels good and makes someone else feel good.  We don’t wait until we’re long term village residents to experience acts of kindness or resort to repeating what we did earlier.  We can be creative and inspiring.

Other suggested ways of paying forward include:

  • Increasing the number of compliments given each day. Count how many compliments you receive on a given day and try to double that amount the following day;
  • Volunteer with local community organisations like our parish churches in Steeple Claydon, East Claydon and Middle Claydon, and other local voluntary bodies. Volunteers are the lifeblood of any charitable organisation.   Earmarking at least one day each month for volunteering is always welcomed.  I’ve observed many examples here and I know they’re very much appreciated;
  • Ask elderly neighbours if they require help with anything. Our senior citizens often have, for example, trouble moving furniture around or cleaning out high, hard-to-reach shelves. Let our elderly neighbours know that if they need help with anything, we’re available to lend a hand or just be a listening ear.

Loving our neighbour, in particular, the third point, is a hallmark of our Christian faith.  According to the 12th chapter of Mark’s Gospel, loving our neighbour as our self is the second most important commandment of God.  And our neighbour can be anyone – the friend next door, across the road, at the shops, a passer-by or another local villager.   We are called to be other person centred and sometimes, admittedly, that’s a challenge when there’s history between us, inability to forgive to release healing into our relationship or, put simply, a misunderstanding exists.  However, in the words of the Apostle Paul from the 3rd chapter of Colossians, “whatever we do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks through Him to God the Father”.

So, I hear you asking for an example of something I did for the first time!  Well I recently brought my 6 string bass guitar to East Claydon Church of England School Assembly for the first time.  Usually, I don’t mix business with pleasure but this was an exception.  I used the melodic tones of my instrument at weekly worship to convey to the wonder of the children the Beatitude lesson from Matthew’s Gospel of life as peacemakers and it was fun.

With every blessings

Reverend Rickey Simpson-Gray
Team Vicar for the Parish of the Claydons