At this time of the year (as I write this in February!)  traditionally people have often tried to give something up, as a preparation for Easter.

Usually something they really enjoy – like alcohol or chocolate, (there really is life without these – just probably not as we know it!).  Discipline is supposed to be useful, and even good for you, but try telling that to the youngster with a P1 case – or even to the Orderly Officer.

For those of us serving in the RAF that is all very easy to see, but apply it in the home environment then it all becomes rather different.  Disciplining children is not simply a case of telling them what to do, but of giving understanding and love within that process.  I saw a marvellous example of this in a book about teenagers recently, where a dad is faced with the bedroom of the typical adolescent; his response – “Son, your ceiling is very tidy.”

Banter and humour and even finding a fresh way of looking at life are things we all need.  Such new perspectives are about being hopeful, in a world where cynicism is all too common.  The old adage, glass half empty – glass half full, is more though than seeing something from a different perspective, it is about a choice that we can make for our whole lives. We can choose to see the only those negative things the world points out to us constantly, or open our eyes and all our senses to seek to see things afresh.

Thanks to Supernanny, many of us are familiar with the naughty step for younger children. How does it end though for us, after sorry?  “Don’t do it again,” or “You give great hugs?”

All of us will commute across the acres of flat fens to come to work, or across them to do the shopping. Have you ever considered though, as the days get longer, how much sky this gives us to look at, and how different it is every day, or even every hour?

The answer to, “Did you have a good day?” so often evolves around whether we found anything to smile at during it, and then whether we can be bothered to share that with others.

Grandparents (or other senior relatives) are a good illustration of the way that this has worked out for some.  Those who are “elderly” have often lost the desire to look and learn: those who are merely “older” are so much more fun to be with.

Jesus simply said: behold I make all things new.

Padre Mark Kennard