Some of you are too young to remember Ricky Fulton’s hysterical clerical caricature ‘Rev I M Jolly’. Alas, I know a few Revs who are better I M Jollys than Ricky was, but Fr Willie Boyd certainly comes nowhere near such a sullen depressing reflection of ministerial or priestly duties. Alas, my bosom buddy and fellow Shoes Bro’ is shortly moving to a parish which includes Troon, Prestwick, & Mossblown. Along with the good people of St Mary’s & St John Ogilvie’s I, and many others in Irvine, are grieving Willie’s move. Yesterday was or last Soul Irvine Beat FM ‘Soul Sunday’ show, a last dance for the Shoes Brothers.

However, the dance goes on, led by Lord of The Dance, whose life enhancing unforced rhythms of Grace lighten and enlighten our lives. Soul Sunday will continue with various guests invited to join in and we (in Irvine) will still try to do something engaging and encouraging at Christmas time, but Fr Wull, we will truly miss you! You’ve been such a star and bright light in our town, we salute you and assure you of our love and prayers as you head south.

A UK Government survey connected jobs with life satisfaction and showed beer-pulling publicans as the unhappiest, closely followed by bricklayers and debt collectors. And, what do you know? ‘Ted’s your Uncle!’ The happiest work force is ‘The Cludgie’, ‘Clergy’, ‘ClerJOY’, church ministers and priests!!!

Allegedly us ‘meenisters’ enjoy the most satisfying lives, with farmers and fitness instructors close behind on the jolly wheeze stakes. I don’t disagree! I adore my Boss, love people, and believe we have glorious Good News to share, but I have known some right miserable Rev’s and been served by some bright and breezy bar tenders. Indeed, a hazard for Rev’s is overdoing it, getting signed off on the sick and having to opt for another profession.

I’m encouraged that the government is looking deeper than pennies & pounds in search of a more ‘soul-full’ nation. A ‘well-being index’ adds another layer to inform young people considering which career to follow, but surely more needs to be done, locally and nationally, to encourage enterprise and create ‘more’ jobs. I’d be interested to compare the sense of wellbeing and happiness between people in and out of employment. I know many young people who work in, what they describe as, ‘slave labour’ but they are quick to say, “At least it’s a job!”

I’m aware that Engels, Karl Marx & Co. described religion as the ‘Opium of The People’ by which the rich keep the working masses dulled and subdued in ‘their place’, but I truly believe that ‘job satisfaction’ and ‘fruitful labour’ has much to do with ‘Who your Boss is’. Having God as Boss, Christ as Manager, and The Holy Spirit as your Energy Provider & Motivation Mentor, should see such employees among the most sought after and inspired employees in the World, no matter what you do.

As St Paul puts it, “Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.” (Colossians 3:17 / MSG)