Monday, 28 February 2011

The View From Here

This is my new church; of course it isn't really new... and it isn't really mine! It is just new to me and I have care of it for a time.
I walked along to it from my new home this morning.
I took photographs as I approached and then I went in, and wandered around. Not the first time I have been there of course, but this was a bit special - today for the first time I was there as the minister of that church, minister in this village - Earlston.
I wandered around the building, up the stairs, in and out of the cupboards, looking, reflecting on yesterday - my first Sunday, and praying for the people I have seen, and the people I have yet to meet.
There is something very special about being alone in a church; the stillness, the quiet, being part of a place that goes back over generations... generations of the faithful who have served the community and called that place home; the sense of timelessness, of being 'out of time' and yet paradoxically being planted very firmly in the present, in the here and now.
There is history in this place, some of the memorials I looked at in the graveyard go back to the 17th century, each telling a story of thier own yet to be discovered by me.
Looking across the valley from the front door I see the High School - it is a big, new building state-of-the-art, full of young people whose lives are being moulded... from my ancient building to that modern building, each focal points for the village, each making a contribution to the community
So much potential!
So much to do!
So many new opportunities beckon...

"I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in" (Rev 3:20)

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


Today is Tuesday - one week since the removers left me with a pile of boxes
I still have boxes unopened; but the majority are done
I have a kind of surreal feeling, like:
how can it only be a week?
and where do I start?
and how will I get to know everything/ everyone/ everywhere?

Then I give myself a little shake and remember that the job gets done whether or not I know it all; and you don't get to know it or do it until you know it and do it...

Think about it: life goes on; we learn through experience; we discover through encounter; we grow through relating to others.

If I wasn't feeling a little surreal it would be more of a problem.

I have introduced my blogging to my Mum; she has known me for a long long time - all my life; and yet she discovered things about me she did not know! That's a little surreal too!

We insist on counting out our lives: the days and weeks; the months and years; even the minutes and hours. And sometimes yes, we need appointment times, we need to coordinate meeting up and doing things together.

But sometimes we just need to take off the watch; turn round the clock; and live life without worrying about the time of day.
Is it light? Get up
Are you thirsty? have a drink
Are you hungry? eat something
Are you lonely? speak to someone

Life, time, faith
live, love, grow

We do not know the number of our days
We cannot
and it is good to be so
For knowing the future would prevent us from valuing the present
Look forward in faith
All time is in God's hand
Walk humbly with Him
and trust his future plan....

and do not worry - it doesn't make anything change!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

the box man cometh....

My life is currently taken over by boxes
boxes of things to keep
boxes of things to give away
boxes of things to throw away

in amongst it all I have found things I forgot I had
things which filled me with memories - both good and bad
and things which I looked at and thought - "What on earth possessed you?!!!"

I was minded of a poem I wrote a couple of years ago when a colleague lost vast amounts of possessions after being flooded out...

The things of life
It’s only things you know
The detritus accumulated through years of scavenging
Decades of possessions for sure
But paper and cloth are transient anyway

It’s only the things we hold on to
The things we do not need
And yet the things we cannot discard
Until some circumstance forces our hand

They are only bits and pieces
Symbols of a lifetime
But not the Life
Triggers for memory
But not the Memories

Things do not make the home
Walls and ceilings and doors and carpets
Do not make the home
Our people
These make the home
The place

My heart is home
My home is love
To love and to be loved
Wherever my heart is
That is home
With or without the things of life

meantime - my life is beng packed into boxes; and the box man will come tomorrow and take them all away to my new place - the place that will become home - my new home...