Following the sporting theme of one of my earlier blog posts, I have been thinking of Go and Grow as a marathon race. But this is no ordinary marathon, which are usually raced on reasonably flat courses. In contrast the Go and Grow marathon has been full of ups and downs and obstacles. We have already being running for over two years. During that time there have been downhill stretches when we have made rapid and sometimes near miraculous progress. But there have also been the long slog of uphill climbs, when we have often doubted whether we would ever make it. Our friends and family have been cheering us on, but others have been regularly reminding us of our limitations. Every marathon runner knows that at some point they hit "the wall". This is the seemingly impenetrable barrier, where any possible way ahead appears to be barred. The Go and Grow project has had a succession of "walls" and yet we keep pressing on.
A couple of weeks ago we faced yet another "wall" moment, when we appeared to be failing to demonstrate that the scheme could possibly be made viable. We had tried every route open to us, pared back the construction specification to its bones, proposed phasing the scheme and so on. And yet we still seemed to be falling short. Then in the last week we have heard that a route, which we previously hadn't been able to consider because of VAT implications, is now, because of changed circumstances, possible for us. All of sudden the wall has crumbled in front of us and scheme looks more achievable. The challenges ahead are still terrifying, and any rational man would be overwrought with dread at the prospect. And yet I feel strangely peaceful that God is in control and his purposes are unstoppable. I want to be realistic about our prospects of success and yet our experience over these past two years is that realism has been repeatedly defied.