It's been one of those weeks! I woke up, wondering where I'd rank this one, in my all time worst weeks as a regional minister - it's been a bad week, so right down there!
Of course, just when you think it can't get any worse, it does! My broadband at home died this morning. This is not just bad, this is tragic. Today of all days! Today's the day I have to upload my contribution, as a Baptist 'voice' to http://www.beyond400.net
don't you just love irony?!
..... but here I am in one of my other 'offices'. Banco Lounge in Bristol. Great coffee and free wireless, what more could a regional minister want? Seriously, guys this advert's for free, I'm glad to be here. Hopefully, the article has just uploaded OK, ready for 6th February. It's a privilege to be asked, there's been some really good conversation started so far, so I hope my two words, 'missional movement' might spark our imaginations a little more .... we'll see!
I've just had a nostalgic moment. Thinking about how, in just twenty years everything has changed, but nothing's changed. Twenty years ago I would have been sitting in this same road, admittedly over a mile south. Twenty years ago I could easily have been helping Linda, our church administrator, try and get the Counterslip church bulletin run off the Gestetner machine - wow remember them? It was only that long ago - I didn't have a computer even, never mind internet, mobile phone, sat nav, skype, all those absolutely essential ministry accompaniments.
Then I find a smile on my face, thinking about the irony of it all. I need to be careful because I'm getting weird looks from behind the bar, but it's good to smile; to find something amusing in the midst of a rubbish day, or week, does us all good. Not only superficial smiling, however, I'm getting drawn into gratitude .... to God for so many good things and people who fill up my life. After all, even in this week, I've watched Liverpool win away at Wolves 3-0! Even Andy Carroll scored. My son popped in, en route, back to Liverpool and we went out to Jamie's in Bristol for a good meal. My daughter is coming home, for the weekend, this evening .... you get the point? Life is not made up of 'ministry' and neither is security and acceptance by God shaped by it.
and gratitude is a habit and like a magnet, once you succumb to its pull you find yourself engulfed by it - seriously, try it. So, what began, with thinking 'why bother?' as a regional minister, 'is today the day I write my resignation?', even before lunch, has become, not simply what God has called me to make a difference for him in, but the place I'm glad to be in - again. I've just uploaded my 'missional movement' words and I've realised afresh, this is something I have already said I shall give the rest of my life and ministry for. I've lost the bit where Jesus said it would be an easy ride, so I wont let that drag me down. To find yourself and to have the privilege of helping others find their place, as part of this great movement we call the mission of God, is an amazing adventure and privilege.
Also, gratitude brings perspective, whilst this week remains 'bad', it's an exception, not the rule.
..... and me, well, I'm better than I was first thing!