When I first came to Canterbury I fell in love with it. CORRECTION when I first came to Canterbury as an adult I fell in love it. The correction was because we did come on a family holiday to kent and had a day trip to Canterbury but all I remember is having to climb lots of steps!
So, the first time I really came to Canterbury I was 17 and I was looking at universities. I had an audition at Christ Church. I woke up early and caught the train with my brother, got the tube for the first time, got the train from Victoria and arrived in Canterbury. As soon as I walked out of east station, and onto the city wall – I fell in love and I knew that this was where I wanted to come.
One of the things I love about Canterbury is the Cathedral. How can you not? It’s beautiful. I’ve had so many amazing experiences at the cathedral. I graduated there; it was at the cathedral where my husband proposed to me; every October we fit the entire school in and dedicate the year to God; and my husband has been licensed there as a reader. But even when I came to Canterbury when I was with the family, all I really remember is the visit to the cathedral and all the steps.
The other thing I love about Canterbury is the lack of high-rise buildings – this means that you can see the cathedral from anywhere, all over the city. So much so that a friend has started to post pictures of the cathedral from all over the city and we have to guess where she has taken the picture ( a surprisingly fun game)!
I can see the cathedral from classroom, and when I go for a run once I see the cathedral I know I am over half way and am on my way home. I see the cathedral as I am walking to school, and as I am walking home. When I was at uni I always walked through the precincts to be in that space. The other week I did a 10k run, and if I’m honest I didn’t really know where I was going but as long as I could see the cathedral I knew where I was.
The cathedral gives me a focus. Whether it is the relief when I see it running, thinking YES I’m on my way home, or whether it’s spotting it from my classroom reminding me that I have been given my job by God and and it is Him I am doing it for.
The Cathedral is an awesome building, built over hundreds of years, purely as worship. It’s building was an act of worship and it has been created, cared for, maintained, to continue to allow people to worship.
Today at church we were talking about whether there is any point planning, be au things often change. And actually it is through change that great things often come. I think there is an element of truth to that, and I find it strange that I am agreeing as I always like to know exactly what is going on, and what is happening. But I guess the answer is like Canterbury Cathedral, as long as you have an ultimate goal to focus on, it doesn’t matter what route you take, whether it’s an everyday glimpse to set you back not rack or whether it’s running for that finally goal. A focus is important, as long as you are willing to change the route on the way.
So what is my focus? My focus is to love God and worship him in my everyday life, to show his love to those I love. My focus is to take what God has given me, whether that is my body, my gifts, my friends and family, to cherish them, to take care of them and to use them.
I know that this may not always seem to be my focus, but every now and then I get a jolt, in the same way I get a glimpse of the cathedral and I’m kicked back onto track.