We have had a very busy time since arriving in Looe. We arrived and were immediately thrown into a new work at the busiest time of the year and the busiest season since the "Old Rusty" opened. The result of all of this is that the "old duffers" are somewhat jaded. It has been said of me (by unthinking and largely critical Christians) that I am now learning what real work is. The Pastorate cannot be compared to any other profession, it is truly a vocation and ought not to be belittled especially by the Lord's own people. That maybe is for another excursion into the mind of this "Old Looe-Nattic."
My purpose for waxing lyrical today is that we are now beginning to find our way into Looe life. We are addressing real issues that are important to us as a Christian couple living and working in this part of the world. As Christians fellowship is important to us and so the church that we attend is of vital importance. Son -in-law Jim being the pastor of Grace Community Church at Morval is a blessing which means that we get to spend more time with Jo and the family but it does bring other issues that are of great significance. It has never been our intention to follow our children, much less to hinder them in their lives. We have no desire to crowd them out and so we have been deliberating long and hard as to whether it be right for us to join the church there at Morval.
That all having been said we have also wondered whether we really fit in at the church. You see it is so different to what we are used to. The preaching is fantastic, Jim is a brilliant bible scholar and teacher and preacher. The service (to me as a reformed and rather stayed old boy) is somewhat odd and at times difficult but that again is not the point of this post.
I suppose it is all about fellowship, I am eternally grateful to the "Rusty people" for all that they do and I am proud to call them friends. Some have really cared (beyond the call of duty) for us and we are thankful for their geuine and hard felt friendship. We find a true kindred spirit with them, thanks R&C.
But (there is always a but isn't there??) we are used to a large group of friends and that so far has not really happened and so we spend a lot of time in the flat looking at each other every so often over the top of our kindles, books or laptops and wonder what on earth are we doing here. I remember a Deacons meeting in one church where a prospective Pastor asked if the church has a music group. One of those present answered in the affirmative but with added information that he like to call them the "mixed emotions" because when you heard them you did not know whether to laugh or cry. Not a wise comment consdiring the leader of the group was present in the meeting.
There is something of the "mixed emotions" syndrome that is our current experience. We know that the Lord has led us here and that what we are doing is His will but we are confused, the Christian life is more than work. It is more than a cafe or a Christian charity. It is all about belonging, firstly to Him. Gladly that is safe and sound in His hands. It is about belonging to our earthly family and we are so grateful that Jo and Marie with their respective families are so close at hand, Elaine is a free spirit (somewhat like her parents) but is always close to our thoughts and visits as often as possible. It is also about belonging to the people of God. This is what we must now put in place and so it was really wonderful yesterday to make new friends from the church. We met Janet and Duncan for the first time and had a lovely meal with them and warm and vital Christian fellowship. We discovered that in many ways our experiences are somewhat similar.
We spoke much of the "mixed emotions" of life. The griefs of losing those close to us and the difficulties of health and increasingly age related problems but we spoke much more of the glories of belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ who is so much more glorious than the difficulties of life. In fact the more we talked the more we saw that through the difficulties that we have experienced God has led us all exactly to this place at this time. You see He is sovereign and uses our "mixed emotions" for His glory.
It was also with great pleasure that on opening my e-mail at some ridiculous sleepless hour this morning that another "Grace" friend John had sent me his thoughts on Luke 9 (John is a retired Pastor) and I was blessed by his sermon on paper. I began feeling angry that I could not sleep yet again but was blessed by the Word that John so faithfully opened up for me. My "mixed emotions" came to the fore again and as always our God glorified Himself.
As a Christian I am truly privileged and can see (mostly) beyond the difficulties to the greater plan and can now see how God has used the most painful experiencs of my little life for His glory. I suppose what I do not yet know is how He is going to glorify Himself through my current "mixed emotions!"