It was good to be back in church today after being away for a couple of weeks. August has been spent gearing up for a major fundraising push through September and October and it feels like we are ready for this now. And so we need to be, as the entire project rests on the success of this next eight weeks.
Over the summer I have done quite number of journeys of one sort or another and found that almost all journeys of any distance are subject to frustration. Rarely does everything run entirely to schedule and often the tiniest glitch causes a disproportionate problem. Just last week I undertook a simple journey to Buckinghamshire to meet up with someone, a trip that should take just over half an hour. However, there was an accident on the M25, and what promised to be a straightforward drive threatened to become terribly protracted. But seeing first the warning signs, and then stationary vehicles on the motorway, I adeptly avoided joining it and instead headed off down side roads.
I had not got far when the traffic slowed and then ground to a halt. The one problem on the M25 had had the knock on effect of clogging every artery of communication for miles around. Bad turned to worse when, presumably caused by driver frustration, a second accident happened on an adjacent ‘A’ road. We sat in our car going nowhere. Again I took evasive action, turning north on to roads that would take me away from the blockade. It worked, and we found ourselves on roads that were free flowing, with the minor inconvenience that we were now travelling in entirely the wrong direction. After making a massive arching loop through Hertfordshire we eventually made our way to our destination. This relatively simple journey eventually took 2½ hours.
The Go and Grow journey has also been subject to frustration. At times it has felt as if the way ahead has been completely blocked. Other times what started out as small glitches, turned into major obstacles and circuitous routes have had to be devised to get round the problem. But so far every obstruction has been overcome. Over the next two months we face the biggest hurdle yet and this time with a deadline attached to it.
In John 16 Jesus spelt out to his disciples that he was going to be taken away from them and they would face considerable struggles. He concludes by saying: ‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33)
I would be misleading you to suggest that everything will be just fine. In fact, it is far better that we honestly acknowledge that we face an enormous challenge. But take heart! Jesus has overcome the world.