It suddenly dawned on me that it's nearly two weeks since I posted anything on my blog, although I've been fairly active on the MCSA Yahoo group and Facebook. And one of the possible reasons is an attempt to focus on "issues", rather than what's actually going on with me at the moment.
Right now, I'm really getting a sense that "some days you're the bug, and other days you're the windscreen" - and my mood swings over the last two weeks are giving me cause for concern.
Certainly there's a great deal that I have cause to be thankful to God for:
- Firstly, I spent two amazing weeks with my wife and son. I know that I've missed them something terrible, but I didn't realise just how much. The downside, of course, is that today is (give or take a day or two) exactly three months before i see them again.
- Secondly, the last couple of days has seen a welcome turnaround in my financial situation as a result of my caravan finally being sold. This has resulted in me being able to pay off the final amount owing on my wife's car, which will ease the monthly cashflow a bit. While I've always managed to keep the wolf from the door, and my wife is not in any danger of having the toilet reposessed by the Johannesburg City Council just yet, it's been a tight eight months. Last month was particularly bad, with me having to ride my scooter for five days solid - even in the rain - because I couldn't afford to put petrol in my bakkie.
- Thirdly, even though the question of where I'm going to be stationed next year is still not settled, at least my son has confirmed places at schools in both Uitenhage and Pietermaritzburg.
So by all accounts, today should be a good day for me. Yet as I sat in the Communion service at North End this afternoon, I felt lower than the proverbial shark turd at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
The most disturbing thing is that I can't quite put a finger on any particular reason. Waiting for the Conference decision is certainly part of it, even though I've largely come to terms with the fact that "what will be, will be". And I guess that the thought of being at the Seminary next year, with all its rules and regulations, is somewhat unappealing to me as a married 40-year-old who is used to being able to make his own decisions. And the knowledge that, if I am stationed at the Seminary next year, my Superintendent will be under extreme pressure in the Circuit with one minister short (in the year in which he should be enjoying the "final approach" to retirement) also concerns me, not only for the Circuit, but for Bill personally as well.
But what broke me this afternoon in the service, as I closed my eyes in prayer, was the image of my 11-year-old son James on his knees next to his bed at night, saying, "Lord, please don't send Dad to college".
I know I need to wait for the final decision in three weeks' time. No doubt if Bill reads this post, he will sing another verse of "Abide With Me" when he sees me on Thursday. And if the Church chooses to send me to Seminary next year, God surely has a plan in that as well. But still - in my "balance sheet for 2010", the "Circuit" side is still outweighing the "College" side.
Prayer during difficulty - *"Help us bear difficulty, pain, disappointment, and sorrows, knowing that in Your perfect working and design, You can use such bitter experiences to shap...
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