I preached yesterday on Proverbs 4:18-19 - "The path of the righteous is a blazing light which increases in intensity until the day is full, but the way of the wicked is black pitch and littered with obstacles which foul the feet." While I was preparing the sermon I was transported back three and half years to the prayer meeting that initiated the whole Go and Grow adventure.
In January 2013, a week before a planned week of intensive prayer focussed on the building development, I received a phone call from Richard Greeves our development surveyor. Richard said he had seen a building on the High Road which he thought could potentially be convertible to a church. The building was seemingly about to be put up for sale. I went to have a look at the outside of it and immediately felt my heart stir in a way I hadn't experienced before in all the years we have been trying to achieve a building relocation.
The following week we had numerous prayer meetings culminating in a major prayer event on the Saturday evening. And it was that momentous prayer meeting that the verse from Proverbs reminded me of. During that meeting we had a time of waiting on the Lord for words. Then when the words started to be shared I got very excited. One after another people shared words like: "the church is going to be like a beacon in North Finchley" and "we're going to be a blazing fire on the High Road and it is about the building" and "we are going to be light that all can see", "we're going to be a star shining in the darkness", and so on. At the time I was the only person in the room that knew about the potential office block plan. The office block in question is called "Solar House"!
It turned out that the property was not coming on the market. I had apparently misunderstood Richard the previous week. Nevertheless the words at the prayer meeting all pointed in one direction and from that point onwards we started to look into a move to Solar House.
Much history has passed since those early days of conception. Our initial optimism has been tested in the cauldron of the brutal commercial realities. Many times we have wondered if the entire project would collapse, as time and again it proved to be more challenging than we could possibly have imagined. Even now gigantic obstacles appear to litter our path. The proverb of course has two paths. Are we on the right path? However difficult the path is, the words given at that historic prayer meeting about being "a blazing light" say yes.