Voice 35: Katrin Hackett, Administrator, Sheffield District.

Katrin is one of the administrators for the Sheffield District, based in Victoria Hall Methodist Church. She  is also a church worship leader and circuit steward.

I am one of those people who finds it very hard to sit still and do nothing. On long journeys I will usually have some kind of knitting on the go (currently knitting hobo bags), and even when watching TV I will often be simultaneous doing a craft project. So sitting in quiet prayer or meditation is a real challenge for me; I have to really concentrate to keep my thoughts focussed – I am so easily distracted.

I often say I have the best job in the world as it is flexible with regard to my working hours, makes use of my organisational and IT skills, and is incredibly varied – no 2 days are ever the same. The same can also be said of my journey in. Whilst I can catch a bus (and on occasion will drive), my preferred mode of transport is cycling.

20170406_172216Out on the bike, I find I am much more aware of my surroundings than when on the bus or in the car. The warmth of the sun, a cooling breeze or sudden gust of wind that rocks me sideways, snow, rain, hail – there was one day when I had all of these in the course of the 15 minute journey in.

20170406_173920I notice the road surfaces – looking out for the smoothest path, avoiding the potholes. I really notice the difference between Abbeydale Road, which has been resurfaced, and London Road – which hasn’t. It is interesting that even the smoothest looking road will still have uneven patches, parts that have sunk or become slightly raised.

20170406_174719I find this time – when there will be no phone calls, or other distractions, a time when I can also concentrate more on God. Often I will find myself singing a song or hymn that seems to fit with the rhythm of the bike.  I will rehearse in my mind the tasks that I hope to achieve that day – and can use this time to put them into God’s hands as well.

20161214_102840As I cycle along the road I notice the changes – I love the monsters that appeared on the bollards overnight -;  I go past shops, some (likeButterworths Bikes) that have been there for 3 generations, others, such as the Forge Bakery, are just starting up. Then, when Abbeydale Road becomes London Road I become aware of what a rich, diverse city Sheffield is, with the wide range of restaurants – Spanish, Mexican, Italian, Japanese, Persian, Polish, Vietnamese, to name a few.

At this time of Lent I am always reminded of the poem by William Arthur Ward – Fasting and Feasting. Some of the lines will stay with me on my ride, and I use them as a prompt to pray – for people and for situations, for others  …  and for myself. 

Fasting and Feasting

Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ dwelling in them.

Fast from emphasis on differences; feast on the unity of all life

Fast from apparent darkness; feast on the reality of light.

Fast from words that pollute; feast on phrases that purify.

Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.

Fast from anger; feast on patience.

Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.

Fast from worry; feast on trust.

Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.

Fast from negatives; feast on affirmatives.

Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast on unceasing prayer.

Fast from hostility; feast on nonviolence.

Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.

Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.

Fast from personal anxiety; feast on eternal Truth.

Fast from discouragement; feast on hope.

Fast from facts that depress; feast on truths that uplift.

Fast from lethargy; feast on enthusiasm.

Fast from suspicion; feast on truth.

Fast from problems that overwhelm; feast on prayer that undergirds.

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