There's nothing like a few weeks' leave and a long drive to re-fill the tank and to get one ready for a new year. I've been reading on Pete Grassow's blog about how he has turned his relocation from Cape Town to Pietermaritzburg into a road trip (read here, here, here, here, here, here, and here for an account of his trip thus far), and having driven nearly 2 500 km these holidays (Pietermaritzburg to Uitenhage; Uitenhage to Johannesburg; then from Johannesburg back to Pietermaritzburg again), I can identify with Pete's experiences of using driving time to think, reflect, pray, and all sorts of random but necessary things to get one's mental "filing cabinet" sorted out and order restored.
I must however confess that my thoughts on Mthatha were not quite as romantic as Pete's, since the traffic mayhem meant that it took us an hour to get through the city. In fairness to Pete, though, he has memories from his childhood of having been born there, whereas I have memories of sitting in Sandton traffic for hours trying to get to and from work - which might cause our attitudes towards traffic congestion differ somewhat!
It was also good to catch up with the folks in Uitenhage again. They say that Phase One can either make or break one's ministry, and in this caseI'm most grateful to have sat under the ministry of Bill Thompson, who has recently retired ("gone supernumerary" in MCSA-speak). I had the privilege of attending his retirement service in Uitenhage, and although it was a long trip to make (seeing as we then went on to Joburg), it was worth every kilometre to be able to honour a man who has not only served God and the MCSA well in his ministry, but has also played a huge role in my own fledgeling ministry - far larger than he probably realises - which will stand me in good stead for years to come. I know that these words are insignificant coming from my lips - Bill is not one for earthly praises, and would want to hear them only from the lips of Jesus - but I want to say nonetheless, "well done, good and faithful servant".
And as the holiday winds down, I feel re-charged and raring to go. But in the meantime, there is the vitally important matter of a cricket match between SA and India at Kingsmead this week, which we will be going to complete with silly hats and the like (we wanted to go to the Pro20 at Moses Mabida, but at R350 a pop my stipend would have come up a bit short!). I mean, after all, cricket is not a matter of life and death - it's FAR more important than that!
Go tell it on the Mountain - It is fascinating that we grow up singing songs, carols and hymns without fully knowing the story behind the words. A beautiful song like *God Tell it o...
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