Monday, September 26, 2016
Every now and again, in a moment of vision, or hope, or faith, or clarity, you see something great in the struggling and challenging circumstances you find yourself in. Be you a minister in the rural eastern Free State like me, or a farmer, or a businessman, a businesswoman, or wherever you are. The talk of the town is quite depressing right now. Numbers are down, finances are down and optimism is down. And here in this part of the world the change of season has brought with it all kinds of illness and ailment. I am having one of these ‘great’ moments that defy logic and explanation! For some time now I have not been sure how to lead the church through these difficult times. Most everything I know, and have tried, has failed. Then the other day I prayed the prayer of ‘relinquishment’; to surrender, and to let go to God all the things that seem beyond me. To relinquish, NOT to give up, but to rather say, “I can’t do this anymore, can you do it, God?” Right now, in the churches I serve in Bethlehem, Bohlokong, Clarens, Senekal, Fouriesburg, Kestell, Paul Roux and Lindley, and in neighbouring Ficksburg and Marqaurd – amidst great financial struggle, dwindling numbers, and races still separated by years of division, I ‘saw’ and ‘experienced’ who we really are as a church, and what we can become together. What for months has looked bleak, and has made me feel despondent, suddenly looks brighter. And it’s not because I am on top of the world, and all hyped up and optimistic. Actually, to the contrary. It’s like an invisible corner is turned. Suddenly things that have been stuck are becoming unstuck, plans that just seemed not to get off the ground, are getting off the ground. People are opening themselves, and risking themselves. I don’t want to think about it too much, or analyze it too much. Rather just enjoy it, and let it have a course and an energy of its own. It feels like the rain that fell into a ravine and filled up everything in its path until it ran into a huge desert. Try as it might it could not cross the desert, and began to dry up. Eventually it let the wind carry its water into the clouds, and blew across the desert, and carried on watering the earth, bringing life and energy where previously there had been none.