I was listening to the unfolding story of Gordon Brown's PR disaster as I was travelling home from our Team Leaders meeting yesterday afternoon. It reminded me of the story Jesus tells in Luke 11 when he talks about having a friend whom you go to at midnight and say 'lend me three loaves of bread' because I heard the now-famous Gillian Duffy saying 'I only went out for a loaf of bread'. Imagine that - popping out for a loaf of bread and influencing the General Election!
My sympathy for Gordon and my 'serves you right' swung like my newton's cradle - with regular, almost hypnotic swings, but what it serve to remind me of was the critical importance of seeking, intentionally, to be what we preach, seeking an integrity, which holds the bits together and other such thoughts. How is as important as what. To that end I was also, simultaneously, reflecting on what my good friend Geoff has shared from John 21 only an hour or so previously. He shared some things from one of my favourite books - In the name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen and shared this quote from John Pritchard:
John Pritchard, the Bishop of Oxford, writes, ‘If [ministers] are to be any use to anyone else they have to be passionate about God. God is our magnificent obsession. Like the bud of a sunflower following the sun throughout the day the [minister] has to be directed constantly towards God. That doesn’t mean that the [minister] has to be good at it. Success and failure isn’t the right language. It’s the direction of gaze that matters.’