Saturday, 16 March 2013


February came and went, and suddenly Selection Conference is 'this month' instead of 'next month'.  In fact, it's now just four days away.

I'll come clean.  Purge me with hyssop!  Instead of long prayer walks and half-day retreats and all the other spiritual plans to prepare for a very decisive two days, I've been really, really, reeeeeally busy at work.  And being distinctly below average at keeping lots of balls in the air at once, my preparations for Selection and my commitments to keep during Lent have gradually fallen by the wayside.  Note the length of time since I last posted on here.  That'll say something about my current spiritual resourcefulness!

Rather than lots of meditation and journalling in the lead-up to Selection, I've been doing lots of overtime at work, coming home mentally addled and just about able to cope with a DVD box set of House.  

Distinctly mundane.  Not how I envisioned Lent 2013 and the last few weeks of not knowing if I'll be training for ordained ministry or not.

Still, if you have to go into work early,
Derry's not a bad place to wake up to!
But it's real life, and it's a good job that Immanuel is God with us in real life, even when we are just chasing our tail and wearing ourselves out.  I had to go into work all bleary-eyed on the bus earlier in the week, on the silly-o'clock bus, to catch up before the day had started.  And there He was!  Looking after all the people represented by the lit-up windows, sustaining all the people waking up and getting ready for whatever the new day had in store.  Who'd have thought it, eh?  God on the FY3 bus.  Sitting beside me. 

There's something lovely about a town coming slowly alive before the morning rush hour.  A sense of newness, anticipation, everybody with their own little role to play in making community work and come together - selling, fixing, transporting, deciding, looking after, feeding, ... all the things we do, all the functions we carry out.

There's a sense of a plan, things working out, coming together, a sense that instead of chaos and individualism there's God behind it all, behind us all.

Selection Conference is imminent and I feel very under-prepared.  The busy spell ended yesterday, but I still haven't really got into that last essay, or read over my application form, or gone through the selection criteria to think about what I'll say in the interviews.

Psalm 139:9-10
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
So it's imminent, but God is immanent, not just distant and transcendent, but intimately involved in my little window like all the others.  I don't know how Wednesday and Thursday next week will go.  But I know that God's immanence is guaranteed, that He will be working through a 'no' as much as He will a 'yes', and he will be beside me always, whether that's writing theology essays or marking English essays, in a pulpit or on the FY3 to school. 

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