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Monday, 21 November 2011

Ray on Monday - Least Likely To.....


Coming towards the end of life’s journey should be a time for reflection, assessment and tying up loose ends. In fact that is something we should have done on a regular basis across the years. This came to mind when I looked over some previously jotted down thoughts such as the following. I wrote it, as I often do, like a conversation in my mind with the Lord.

Time…4:10pm.
Place…a Sydney (Australia) suburban train.
Funerals are interesting experiences, Lord. We learn things most of us were ignorant of. For me, Lord, I learnt things about myself.
It was a good funeral as funerals go. My friend belonged to You. This made it easier to say farewell. At the family gathering afterwards a group of us from the ‘yester-years’ gathered and shared our journeys. Some have done quite well. Others have struggled. Some have remained faithful to the Faith. Some haven’t. That’s sad.
As I grew up with these people, we had a great time in the church and community. Friendships are precious and years apart don’t distract from that. When we are growing up it seems to me we are not very conscious of how our mates see us. That is why one young lady’s comments floored me a bit. On reflection they were true. I just didn’t think how others saw me then. She said “ You hung in there with the church when most of us at the time thought you were the least likely to succeed.”
I’m not sure, Lord, what she meant by ‘succeed’. To me it means that in their eyes I changed from a shallow, self indulgent hypocrite to a maturing, caring minister sold out to you. However, Heavenly Father, I can’t kid myself. I don’t think I would have ‘succeeded’ in any sense of the word if You hadn’t stood me on my head, metaphorically speaking, and said “Shape up or ship out!” How thankful I am that You prevailed. Your perseverance over the years has been the sole factor in any so called ‘success’ people may see. You shaped me up! You’ve kept me! You’ve proven Yourself true through Your word.
As I am carried along by this train, I am thankful for the honesty of my friend in reminding me that I was ‘the least likely.’ It creates a shout of gratitude to You. In Your mercy You have made a ‘least likely to succeed’ a testimony of what Your power can do with raw material surrendered to You.
Oh, that more of my friends had done that!
Amen!
Ray (with room for improvement) Hawkins.

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