Stourhead, I thought I might as well get the most from my National Trust membership card. The gardens were a wonderful place for a walk and a chance to stretch my legs before having lunch where I was joined at a nearby table by this Chaffinch.
While strolling round the gardens and enjoying the marvellous views across the lake, I appreciated the shade from the trees and the fact that it was slightly cooler than Monday. It was great to be able to appreciate the sweeping landscape with the variety of follys tucked in amongst the trees. At the same time I could see the minute details of individual plants. It made me think about parish ministry and how we constantly have to juggle holding together the bigger picture and at the same time keep focused on the detail. We need to be able to have a vision which encompasses the big picture but ensuring that the tiny details are not ignored. It can be easy to rush into something because the overarching vision is exciting but without the nuts and bolts needed to hold it all together the danger is everything will come crumbling down around us.
The flip side of this is that we pay too much attention to the details and forget what the larger focus is on. It can be hard at times to hold together lots of others as some want to jump in with both feet while others are cautiously dipping a toe in the water.
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