I wonder if there is a Plodder Lane in most villages? It is the name of one of the key roads in Farnworth, where we used to live. Farnworth is no longer a village, but Plodder Lane was there when it was mainly fields, and it is still remembered that way among the older folk. Hilda Baker had a chippy on Plodder Lane, Farnworth!
(Who’s Hilda Baker, some of you may be asking…)
Is it a derisory name, or simply a label, or is it something to celebrate?
It makes me think of horses, huge animals like Shire horses, admired as powerful beasts, whose work was so important that their everyday route was set aside for them, protected, and remains long after they have been replaced by motor vehicles.
Plodding then was a powerful thing, purposeful, and a very efficient way of moving things around. Movement was unstoppable. It’s plodder lane – make sure you get out of the way! I think it was something to note.
In the days of jet planes and juggernauts, Plodder Lane, with it’s twisty route, is so far removed from the medieval motorway it was.
However, even in the space age, the kingdom of God still plods. It works person by person, epiphany by epiphany, especially underneath any razzmatazz. It can advance like a mighty explosion, but still person by person, soul by soul.
Arthur Dobbs, writing his biography of the Diocese of Manchester, could see that it merited no other title than to be called a Mighty Tortoise. Like a Mighty Tortoise, Moves the Church of God – though perhaps we could say Plods.
What he was trying to convey was inexorability.
Get in the Lane, and Catch the Mighty Plodding Wave.