Pause to adapt

Eucharist Therapy Bless God Helping Repent Catholic

IT seems no time ago that I was questioning the wisdom of my parents’ decision to retire from their North London home, south, to Worthing, which, in my mind, appeared at the time to be largely populated with elderly residents. 

And, as expected, their time became increasingly taken up with visiting the sick or infirm at home or hospital and running errands for the housebound, until of course it was their turn to be visited and have others tending their needs.

So why, I sometimes ask myself, didn’t I heed my own advice?  For here am I, 55 years on, just like them, having retired to a warmer clime, where the English-speaking population are, for the most part of similar age to myself, requiring much time in visiting the sick or infirm and running errands for the housebound, as well as attending/taking funerals!

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But the Bible teaches that God understands our needs and aspirations, equipping us to adapt to changing circumstances and often relocating us to where our abilities, of which we often are completely unaware, may best be used in His service. 

So my parents discovered many new skills in their retirement as they faced the challenges of their new surroundings, which kept them busy and extremely happy, working with the local Churches in serving the community to which they had moved, right up to their own eventual death.

And for myself?  Well, I’d never written anything other than technical manuals and committee reports before retiring to Spain, and certainly never had anything published. Yet within weeks of arriving I was asked to write this item and discovered to my surprise that I actually could.

Similarly, I’d never taken a funeral and actually disliked funerals to the extent of looking for excuses to avoid attending whenever possible. Yet here, that appears to be my prime role in life, and I find it gives immense satisfaction to serve in this way. 

Just chance?  I don’t think so; for with God, nothing is random, but experience suggests that He brought me here and then equipped me for just these and other similar duties.

Duncan Burr is Licensed Lay Reader for the Anglican Chaplaincy of Costa Almeria and Costa Calida (further detail available at and may be contacted at


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