Carrying on the water theme from last week, when Justin was out rowing, our Vicar, Andy, decided to try paddle boarding!
I had been told paddle boarding was good exercise and relaxing at the same time – this seemed somewhat juxtapositioned by the fact I would need to enter the water, and then proceed to stand up on an inflatable board that was floating and propel myself along with one paddle!
Getting into the water was easy, yet standing on the board was a different experience, it was new, uncertain, wobbly and a little uncomfortable.
Let’s say the first 20 minutes were not as relaxing as they could have been! However, once I got used to it, I was then able to delight in being out with the family in a new setting, and also be aware of the silence around us as we made our way across this large section of lake.
This last season has been a new experience for us all, getting used to the new way of life, realising our limitations both personally and those thrust upon us. Recognising we would need to try new things and seeing change around us.
This last season in church life has been like standing on that board, it has been a challenge, I have been stretched and at times felt incredibly wobbly. Then as we progressed many things have encouraged me.
As a church we have embraced so much, yet we long for something more. Personally it has been hard being so far from close family, losing our dog, and trying to keep in touch with congregation members and then feeling guilty when I don’t.
Yet as we find our feet in Jesus (or perhaps I should say find my balance, like on that board) I can look up and around and see God at work.
Psalm 37:4 says "Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” As I have looked and watched, I see God at work in the way as a church we have grown in love for each other and our community; how we have served our neighbours; how we long to sing our praises and how we cherish the moments of silence to allow God to speak.
Yes we live in interesting times, but we will find our feet again, we will find ourselves in a different place, trying new things, yet all with the same aim of giving glory to our God, thanking Him for where we are and longing to be in a place of delight as we grow together in faith.