A burst of goodness...

 

Photo by David Utt on Unsplash

'Ahh, Mr Bond, I've been expecting you.' 

That's not normally what you say when a taxi arrives, but how often do you have Mr Bond as your taxi driver? Okay, his first name wasn't James but he was a Mr Bond, and out of all the taxi drivers in the village of Alfreton, he was the one to take me and my two traveling companions to the wonderful Worth Our Weight In Gold weekend. 

Have any of you ever ran a marathon? I've only ran 10K and that was challenging enough, but one thing that often crops up in the stories of people who have accomplished this immense feat, is the power of glucose and jelly babies. That burst of sugar that gives them the energy they need to run another mile or two. And theirs the cheering too. When the spectators see your name on your shirt and shout 'Come on, Malcolm, you can do it!' That's what this weekend was like for me, and I believe many others. A shot in the arm of faith, belief and encouragement, helping us to believe that we can produce those words, and tame the ones that misbehave and coax out those that are shy and prefer to stay in the nice warm and cosy part of our imagination. Convincing them that they have a vitally important part to play in our stories, and it wouldn't be the same without them. 

There were so many highlights this weekend... Meeting old friends who I hadn't seen for three years. Seeing in the flesh ones who so far I'd only known through their wonderful words like the delightful Ruth Leigh. The speakers who inspired, moved and wowed us - I've only just started the introduction to Jonathan Bryan's book and I'm already speechless. And the pleasure of making new friends. I went along to a brilliant storytelling workshop by Amy Robinson, and had great fun retelling Jonah with a new friend, who came all the way from Boise, Idaho, Donna Fletcher Crow - and she adored Mother too, so that was a wonderful surprise and a delightful encouragement. 

As we often know, life rarely goes to plan. Which is what my wife, Eva, experienced when she put the postcode for our Satnav, only for it to direct her to Ripley, which as lovely as it is, was still 5 miles away from her desired location. Thankfully, Adrian Plass, shared how he and Bridget found their way, and as Eva put in the new location, and turned on the radio, what tune do you think was playing - as she made her dash, hoping she'd at least be able to say a brief hello to Adrian and Bridget? It was none other then the James Bond theme...

God's sense of humour or a sprinkling of serendipity? I have no idea, but it was the perfect ending to an unforgettable weekend.


Martin is a writer, baker, photographer and storyteller. He's been published in the ACW Christmas anthology and Lent devotional. He's currently honing his craft at flash fiction and you can find him on Twitter here.



 


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