Monday, 5 May 2014

Are we there yet?

Another walk to Weymouth from Portland accomplished in the last few days.  For locals this time it was a mixture of the Rodwell Trail and the Coast Path.  In addition to this slightly different route the sun was shining, unlike my last venture when it rained for much of the walk.  It is remarkable how the same piece of ground, or land, or view can look and feel so very different depending on rain or sun.  A bit like life I suppose.  The surrounding conditions can make the object of our worry or enjoyment or fascination seem very different.  I can look at a good meal and identify it as a good meal and know it should taste like a good meal but if there is something scary going on in my life at that moment, or a particular worry that I have then somehow the good taste disappears.

After the walk to Weymouth it was rather nice to meet my beautiful wife Nicola and young handsome son Lisle at the swimming pool where a little more exercise took place.  A combination of the walk and the swimming meant I did not feel in the least bit guilty at having the Mr Whippy Ice Cream on Weymouth Sea Front.  After all ice cream is one of God's greatest creations, so every opportunity should be taken to savour one.  After the swimming pool the three of us had a picnic lunch at Sandsfoot Castle (which I had stopped by on the way into Weymouth as well). There is not much left of what was a fairly small castle to start with, but you get the bonus of a beautiful view of Portland from Sandsfoot Castle - see
Me in front of Sandsfoot Castle
accompanying photographs.

Nicola in front of Sandsfoot Castle
Yesterday was my first Sabbatical visit to a larger church.  My very grateful thanks to Citygate Church, Bournemouth for their hospitality (http://www.citygatechurch.net/).  It was good to share with hundreds of other Christians in worship and to hear a sermon on "God's People - The Community of the recycled"  This was based largely on Ephesians 2:1-10 looking at how we can experience the power of Christ.  Main points were that we can have "Joy filled humility, Confident Boldness, Awestruck Worship".  Citygate is a pretty new building with some marvellous resources which the church is seeking to use to best effect for the whole community.  A snack lunch in Upton Country Park made for a pleasant break on the journey home.

Yesterday saw good friends Conrad and Sonia arrive for a few days break.  We were at theological college together in Edgbaston.  Those days seem far away in one sense and like only yesterday in another.  Life does rush by.  I find myself dwelling on that more often nowadays.  So many things that seem worth trying or doing for God and his Kingdom, and so little time to do it all :-).

Don't waste your life.

While I am walking between Portland and Weymouth and while I am swimming up and down the swimming pool I am tempted to think of that phrase that many of us hear on journeys - "Are we there yet?".  Well eventually I reach my target with the walk and the swimming and I am there.  Hooray!!  It's not quite the same with life though, or faith.  Am I there yet?  No.  Methinks there is some way to go.  The Jesus who calls us to himself also sends us into the world to travel pathways he directs us onto.  Sometimes the weather is sunny and sometimes rainy.  There are things to do along the way -mission, ministry, work, leisure.  And on that journey there might be laughter or tears or rugged determination or a sense of helplessness and an inability to go on.  But the great thing about the journey is that we do not have to travel alone.  Jesus will walk with us.

Are we there yet?  Maybe not, but he will get us there in the end.  And even the journey itself could be quite interesting :-).