Lent Day Eight – Another suitcase in another hall. – 1 March



Today is World Book day which always causes me to ask the question what is my favouite book of all times.  It’s always a tricky question, have a read a book in the last 12 months that has been beter than the David Nobs “The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin” – no probably not.   Yet if I am honest with myself some of the children’s books I read years ago remain firm favourites.    Sat here writing this I am surrounded by many books and without any problem I can put my hand on a book that has such a special place in my heart and memory “Oh, the places you’ll go!” (Dr. Seuss)

Such profound wisdom as

“You’ll get mixed up, of course as you already know:

You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go.

So be sure when you step, step with care and great tack

And remember that life’s a Great Balancing act.

When I was stil one year old my parents moved to Manor Road, Droylsden, in east Manchester.  I attended Manor Road Primary school, later moved on to Manor Road Secondary School.  Just beyond the secondary School was Manor Road Cemetery, where I have a vivid memory of standing in silence with my class as one of my school friends was laid to rest following a road traffic accident.   I figured out that day that it could be possible to live and die on Manor Road and never actually see the world.   I vouched this would not be my story, yet I had no idea of the places I would go.

The adventure of following God’s will has found my family and I in place we had never heard of until we were appointed there.  Shotts, St. Andrews with St Monans; Fraserburgh with Sandhaven and Longton, (and that was just The Salvation Army appointments).    The experience of packing, cleaning, and moving is one that I have known far too often.  The feeling of closing one door and being rootless and homeless until we arrived outside a strange house in another part of the UK, hoping and praying that it would be nice and homely inside (which sadly was not always the case).   Then the chore of being greeted in our new home by a complete stranger with polite chit-chat, tea and cake.  This person was often someone of great significance in our new church, but at this moment we just wanted them to go so that we could all run around the house and sort out bedrooms while evaluating the decoration and furniture and checking for damp and other hazards.  This was followed by the frantic activity of unpacking our few belongings, and my personal ceremonial act of rolling out the rug in the lounge, thus claimed this space as our family home for however long we were allowed to stay there for.

The Psalmist says – If I take the wings of the morning, God is there, If I make my bed in hell – God is there!  How true that God is not defined to a place or a time; that wherever we find ourselves God is there.  Whether it be Fraserburgh or Florida;  Nepal or Nottingham; Longton or Long Island.

“Today is your day, your mountain is waiting. So…. get on your way”

My Prayer:

Thank You Father that no place is ever God forsaken, and you journey with us to all the places we go, and surprisingly  we discover that you were there before us, and will remain there long after we have gone.

Jesus – during this Lenten season – remind us again to listen for the music that the Boom Bands are playing right where we are, because you really are that kind of a guy.      (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQRWeZy-S8Q)

Lord hear us – Lord graciously hear us!


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