I feel like we are all living this wretched nursery rhyme at the moment. Levels, graphs, numbers are at the forefront of our minds morning, noon and night.
When the numbers go down, our hopes go up and vice versa. The problem is our grand old Duke keeps changing his mind about what direction we should be going and in Northern Ireland, well, our dukes are too busy fighting to lead us anywhere.
I’m not sure that anyone has been ‘up’ for months now. Most days we could probably describe ourselves as more down than up. Every time a small, good thing happens to me I try to grab onto it like a tiny balloon to help me get further up the mountain. But then, bad news comes along and bursts it.
When we’re neither up nor down anxiety about going one way or the other dominates our thinking. We fear one and doubt that the other will ever happen again. But, you know what? The only way to get up the hill is to believe that we will.
Maybe you’re sitting at the bottom, making your home there, forgetting that there’s anything better for you. Maybe going up or going out is still too scary to attempt. Maybe you’re resigned to living at ground level for the foreseeable.
That is why we need our ten thousand men right now. When you realise that there are others in the same position as you, you can share the journey with them, and they with you. For the first time in life, thousands, millions of people are going through the same thing, or similar, as you.
You are not alone. Look to your right, and to your left: we’re all marching beside you. And if you have faith you will see that God, the grandest duke of them all, is paving the way for you to get through this.