Sunday, February 05, 2012

5th February

At least the snowy weather has helped me firm up one line of thought. Yes we’ve had a few inches today and whilst it’s not enough to have me completely housebound, it has seemed wise not to travel without good cause. This was the view from my bedroom window on a day very similar to today. So no walk around Kedleston, as even a couple of miles into the countryside could cause unnecessary problems. But my son helped me clear my drive and I was able to get into Derby for church this evening. Although I’ve heard him speak before, the Reverend Canon Andrew White is one of the few people who are genuinely inspiring in their faith journey. He’s the guy who is also known as the Vicar of Baghdad and has quite a story, living and working in that particularly challenging location despite a diagnosis of MS. So tonight his story included the time when he worked at our local hospital as an anaesthetist and attended my church, then known as Derby Elim. He eventually progressed to sharing a little of Iraq where, at one stage, George Bush would regularly phone him. But humorous eccentricity was always at the fore, especially when half way through tonight’s message he pulled out his mobile to ring his adopted Iraqi daughter in Baghdad!

This truly is a man who has made a difference, remarkably brave and stubbornly obedient to the Lord. Yet at one stage he simply sat in a seat in the same building as I do. Spending a very ordinary week at work. God can use those who take time to listen to his voice and then obey. Anyway, I think it’s fascinating how an ‘ordinary’ hospital employee in a small English city can respond to God’s call to the ministry, and despite suffering from MS bend the ear of a global leader whilst serving thousands of members of his church in an otherwise leaderless country. Who else would want that job? He needs armed ‘Special Forces’ protection and 273 of his congregation have been murdered over the past 15 months or so. His story is not unique either as I remember another person attending local church and ending up with visits to Downing Street and a dedicated TV documentary. But that’s a story for another time!

Right then, what is God saying to me? Something much more mundane it seems. And God is as much interested in the small things of life as he is in global or national issues. He is easily able to handle both. Today then I basically stayed in. And I began to sink, feeling sad again. Embracing lethargy. Not good. So the lesson of the day, to put it quite simply, I have to get out more. It’s good for my health, particularly mental, and surely in order for me to fulfil God’s purpose for my life I have to get moving. Being of sound mind is part of it. Walking is another. So I intend to get out there and walk into the fullness of whatever God has for me.

Matthew 10:30 ‘And the very hairs on your head are all numbered’ (NLT)

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