Inherited Traits


Today is Fathers' Day... It also happens to be the closing day of the 2013 Methodist Conference. 
As I was reflecting on the latter and remembering my own Father, or my Da as I am more comfortable calling him, I remembered that whilst he had many fine qualities, including the love of gardening that is captured in the included photo, he also had at least one unfortunate trait...
Whether you had a new car, a new motorbike or a new suit, if you brought anything to my Da for approval, he would look at it and say "Its very nice... BUT..." before going on to outline one, two or two hundred short-comings in the said item...
Sadly I have not inherited his green fingers, but I have inherited his diabetes and a certain element of that trait... Whether it is down to nature or nurture, I tend to see negatives quicker than positives... It doesn't mean that I am a pessimist... I'm with Pete Grieg in believing that pessimism and realism are not the same thing... But nor are glib optimism and enduring Christian hope to be equated... There is a time and a place for identifying and recognising and seeking to address deficits... To see that whilst the glass is half full, not half-empty, it doesn't mean that God wants us to make do with a half-full, that will do, attitude... There is a time for everything... But going straight to the BUT all the time is discouraging... taking the shine off times of celebration...
Today we should be celebrating what has been, for me, the most encouraging, inspiring, challenging, and healing conference of my entire ministry. I usually look forward to conference like most people look forward to a root canal... This was however genuinely more like a time at a spiritual spa... I have actually enjoyed being there, most of the time. It WASN'T perfect, but I don't want to focus on that... Instead I want to celebrate...
  • the prayers of our young people over the ministers at the close of the ministerial session...
  • the worship in all it's forms... old and new... acappella and accompanied...
  • the preaching of our new President Rev. Dr. Heather Morris at her installation...
  • her pastoral sensitivity in chairing the rest of our business...
  • the inspiring and incisive input of Phil Meadows and Pete Grieg...
  • the attempts by the organising committee to prompt searching questions regarding the future of Methodism on this island...
  • being able to spend time catching up with brothers and sisters in Christ that I don't see enough of... 
  • and having meals and conversations with some I don't know at all well...

for all these I want to put on record my thanks to the organising committee... and to my Father, God...

Shalom

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