Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Past times

I spent yesterday in West Yorkshire with some friends who I have known for thirty plus years. Ruth and Philip were young people in the church I pastored as a young man. He was the first person brought to Christ in my ministry there and as a couple they were the first couple I married. They are very special people with a lovely serving spirit.

I lost contact with them for a long time. I left the ministry with a lot of pain and so the contact with them was not kept up. Three years ago at the wedding of my eldest daughter I met them again and the friendship was reborn.

We spent most of the day chewing the fat over church issues and spoke of many happy memories of times when despite us rather than because of us God showed up and did some special things. We were young and some of the things we did I would think twice about now but there was something about raw faith and a daring attitude that seemed to bring about things.

We spoke of people I had baptised who I never remember baptising, healings and changed lives. It was good to remember.

We can't have those times again but 'now is the day of salvation'. It reminded me that thirty years have gone by and what have I done that counts. My wife sent me an Anniversary card recently to celebrate out twentieth wedding anniversary. On the card she put, 'Here's to the next 20'. As I thought about that I felt as if I had been allowed to pause and take stock, catch my breath, and I am now at the point of taking my journey on. I enjoyed the nostalgia and looking back but with Paul I realise I now need to 'press on'. There's a race to finish and a prize at the end with I hope a 'well done' as a reward.

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