Ros's leap February greeting
Sometimes life doesn't run smoothly. We have our plans and expectations which have a habit of turning pear shaped. The end of January certainly turned out like that for me!
I took Mum for an appointment with her consultant only to be told that the patient had cancelled the appointment, which was news to the two of us. We now have an appointment for February and I shall be checking a few days before that she is still on the list to be seen.
My parents' heating system decided to misbehave.
My telephone at the Manse had a problem on the line which meant that no calls could be made or received. After several days an engineer came to renew the connection on the pole outside. Then my internet connection was lost so no emails or browsing on my computer or tablet.
Then there was the morning spent shivering while a smart meter was fitted.
It was not the best of weeks...
But... in the middle of all this I was thinking once again about HOPE. As you may know, we are supporting the HOPE2020 initiative as part of Churches Together. I know that some of you have also been thinking about it and have started to make suggestions regarding how we can bring HOPE to the village. And this excites me. The thought that we can help to make a difference in our own neighbourhood is exciting.
As part of the initiative we are joining in the commitment to pray on the 20th of each month at twenty past eight in tbe evening (20.20) for 20 minutes. At the launch of the initiative we were reminded of the passage in Scripture: Pray that God will give many opportunities to speak about Christ (Colossians 4:3)
Having prayed this, I shouldn't have been surprised that in the middle of a frustrating week, God did just that. One of the engineers who came to the Manse wanted to know if I was a Christian and a 'Reverend'. This was before he started work. He then went on to say that I was the second Reverend he'd been sent to and he thought maybe God was chasing him. He was the one steering the conversation through topics including repentance... apparently the list of things he would need to repent of would be very long! His parting words as he left were that if he gets sent to a third Reverend he will have to do something about it!
This one encounter made up for all the difficulties the week brought. It also reminded me of the fact that God wants to answer our prayers and wants to give us opportunities to share his love and good news with those we meet. So often he opens opportunities which we just don't recognise or are too scared to seize in case we get it wrong. We need to be oipen to the Holy Spirit prompting us and trust that he will give us words to say and actions to take and the power to step out with him. He's not calling us to preach from a soapbox on The Green but to be willing to respond to his prompting with simple, quiet words and small loving actions. He wants us to make a difference in the lives of people we encounter. He may surprise us with the opportunities he gives to us. He wants to do more than we can hope for or imagine.