Last week was really significant for the Go and Grow project. First there was the pastoral committee hearing, which I wrote about in my last post. Then we held two public consultations about the project, one at St Bs and one at Solar House. I had worked myself up into quite a lather about all these meetings, and now I ask myself why. Since then two scriptures have helped me get things in perspective.
Bright and early on Sunday morning (8am) I preached from Philippians 4:6: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." At first glance this is a ridiculous verse – how can we countenance the idea of a command not to worry! Experience teaches me that telling an anxious person not to worry is about as useless as telling a leopard to change its spots. However the point of faith is that we leave our anxieties with God and trust Him. To clutch our worries close to our hearts like a treasured possession is a strong anti-faith reaction. We need to “let go and let God” as the old aphorism puts it.
The second scripture that helped me was from this morning’s St Bs Bible reading plan: Revelation 3:7-8: "These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut." The point I take from this is that God’s purposes are irresistible. It God wants St Bs to move to Solar House, there is no power on earth that can stop it happening - not the pastoral committee, not the local politicians, not the planning authority. On the other hand if God does not purpose us to move to the High Road, then we don’t want to be going anyway, because all we have ever wanted is to follow His leading. We have to play our part of course; we are not fatalistic about these matters. But in the end God will win through, so why expend all that effort worrying about it.
At one point in the Saturday afternoon consultation one concerned local resident complained that the whole thing was a done deal. We remonstrated with her, because the whole point of a consultation is that it is not ‘a done deal’, and we are keen to hear people’s views and try and meet those concerns. However, thinking about it since, looking from a heavenly perspective maybe there is more than a little truth in her assertion – if God has opened the door, no one can shut it.