I’m writing the log this week without knowing if I will actually be able to post it. I returned from Dublin last Friday afternoon, intending only to collect my car at the church, head to my brother’s house in Drumchapel, and then back to Bishopbriggs for the usual Friday night soiree which, on our 3-weekly rota, would be Chinese, so I was looking forward to that. On arriving at the church, however, there was some activity going on. We are in the situation at the moment of having to change the lightbulbs in the church as, especially for evening services, it’s a bit like being in the catacombs, because so many of the existing lightbulbs have gone out. The atmosphere can be quite peaceful and calming, but it’s hard to read the hymn books. However, it’s not an easy task. The present lighting system was installed over 20 years ago at the time of the big renovations, and perhaps had more of the aesthetic about it than the practical. The last time they were changed was about 5 years ago. There are a huge number of bulbs, many of which are at a very high level, therefore requiring scaffolding to change them. Added to that, the lightbulbs are bespoke, not able to be sourced anymore, and, even if they were, would not meet current energy saving standards. We are therefore trying to find a solution. The activity in the church last Friday was because one of the workers from the company we have engaged was trying some trial bulbs out at a lower level to see if they would work. Sadly, they didn’t, and so the quest goes on.
I also discovered that, while I was away, a problem had arisen with the live streaming service, which, in fact, turned out to be a problem with our broadband, which has now gone down completely. This problem may or may not be connected to the adverse weather conditions that have affected so many things during these days. Even while I was away in Dublin, I was settling down to relax last Thursday, after a hard day’s work with our auditors, and watching a drama on television that I had been looking forward to when, just as I was getting into it, there was a power cut, and the whole area was plunged into darkness. There was nothing to do then except say a few extra prayers and have an early night. Back now in St. Mungo’s, we still haven’t got the broadband sorted out, hence my uncertainty as to whether I will be posting this log. If you’re reading it, we’re sorted. As I’ve said before, I am no lover of technology. I yearn for the days of a quill and ink and vellum, where, all you needed to worry about was the occasional blot. When the broadband goes down, we realise how totally dependent on it we are to get the ordinary, everyday work done. We can’t receive or send emails. We can’t print anything as the printer connects to the computer via the internet. We can’t make the necessary calculations in order to pay wages or tax. We can’t use the phone, because even the phone is now connected via the internet. We can’t do anything really. There is a feeling of complete and utter helplessness. Still, we are able to celebrate Mass and hear Confessions, and, at the end of the day, those are the most important things.
I am a bit of a worrier when such things happen. I think there is a worrying gene I inherited from my mother, who worried about everything. I lay awake at night and imagine that these things will never be sorted; that the church will descend into darkness because no suitable lightbulbs will ever be found; that the broadband issue is terminal and will never be sorted. But then comes a heavy dose of reality, and the realisation that the things I am worried about will eventually get sorted – All will be well, and all manner of things will be well, as Julian of Norwich famously said; and also, that the things I am worried about are so trivial compared to the terrible things that people are suffering across the world right now, especially the awful situation in the middle east, in the land that Jesus himself walked. I am not lying awake listening to artillery fire and exploding bombs nearby, or worrying about loved ones in the line of fire. I am worrying about lightbulbs and broadband – time to catch myself on!
As ever, protect yourself, your loved ones and others, and protect Christ in your lives.