Friday, August 22, 2014

Where next? Finding our Way!

We were walking on a fabulous headland near our home - Fort Hommet if you know Guernsey - when our little dog Mysty seemed a bit confused. In that part of the common the ground cover is quite low, only a couple of feet high, and mainly gorse and ferns, but Mysty only weighs 1.95kg and is tiny in comparison! She stubbornly set off on a slight pathway worn into the shrubbery but from my vantage point I could see that it was going nowhere. To her it must have seemed a really viable option. Maybe her Pomeranian nose, which is 10,000 times as powerful as mine, was telling her that there were really interesting canine smells down there. But I knew she would soon be in trouble and get stuck.

Thankfully at my call she stopped, turned and tossed her head as if to say 'I know what I'm doing!' But give her due, she then dashed away from her pathway into nothing and joined me on the high path. You see, it's all about vantage point, vision and clarity. Smells are great but in that kind of landscape you can't beat perspective!

My way is like that just now. I sense that this way or that may be interesting, productive or just pleasant - and we could do with something pleasant after years of suffering. But I need to listen to the call of one who has perspective - height. I am 62 today - and formally retiring from full-time employment due to severe and ongoing ill-health. I will continue to serve Eldad Church until later in the year if I possibly can so that my successor can take up his or her post, though even that is in God's hands not mine. After more than 43 years of leading and serving churches pursuing a call that came to me as a very young man, I still need to hear that voice from above - now more than ever really. To be honest, this path smells pretty naff - stinks really - but what I need at this time and for the future is perspective that comes from height, not smells that come from my own carnal nature or ideas that form in my vivid imagination.

As the writer of Israel's ancient hymn book prayed "LORD, when my heart is overwhelmed within me, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I am".