Seven weeks! I don't know how much longer I can expect the helium balloon to last; it came as part of a present at the beginning of September, splashed with the words 'Thank you' across it. It has hovered above the television now, a little slimmer, a little dented, slowly losing gas, but essentially at the same height as when it was newly installed.
At this rate, it may be some weeks yet before it starts to lose height, ready to be disposed of. It has a certain staying power which I had not expected. I'm not ready to part with it.
Staying power. It's one of the qualities we, adherents of the faith, are asked to exhibit. But that staying power is not the same as immutability. Like the helium balloon, I've changed. I hope I'm less of a gas-bag than when I first came into the faith; I may be a little dented, less able to float above the cares of the world, less of a shine to me, but I hope too that I'm still in some way broadcasting a message of thanks to God for his goodness. Still up there, still there.
We cannot account for the future, but hope that the trajectory taken so far, that long walk in the same direction of the way of the cross, finds us with staying power to the end.