We all dream, but often, dreams are inexplicable things.
There are those that cause us to be alarmed; those that cause us to wish, after wakening, that we could return to the dream and then there are the recurring dreams.
I have one of those recurring ones, in which I imagine I am going to board a boat and, when I reach the pier, she is just sailing out.
That can transfer into what now is a saying about a missed opportunity; “That boat has sailed!”
Missed opportunities are such as we all experience in life and I am sure you, as I , have lost count of the times when the “if only’s “ in life apply to what we have not done.
We can have great resolve that we will attend to someone’s needs or something that should be done and, for us all, the passage of time takes over and before we know it, it is the next week, or the next month and the boat has sailed.
It would then be inappropriate to attempt what we had sought to do, because it is then inopportune.
The call to service that we all have can be treated either in the missed opportunity realm, or the grasping of the nettle syndrome and we know what is the better of the two.
Maybe the grasping of the nettle is what puts us off, insofar that there may be pain or discomfort, almost an acting against what we want to do and that can cause us to wait.
All of that is perfectly understandable, but I believe that, trusting though the faith, God, directs and indeed, controls the way we go.
We all have a call to serve. It is not simply the ordained ministry who can claim that, although that is perfectly true to those who have the privilege of ordination.
I remember a now retired colleague of mine who was asked how the call to the ministry had manifested itself to her and how she had felt directed, to which she replied in her own inimitable style; “I was shoved!”
Not quite what the questioner expected, I am sure!
Well, “shoving” is what we all need at times, to prevent the missing of the opportunity and I am sure we all would accord with that, despite what our initial reaction might be.
In the situation of the Kirk at Bothwell, might it be not of a congregation needing more than a nudge; or of a boat having sailed, but an opportunity grasped and a journey, a voyage undertaken by all, expressed and lived in whatever way each can.
There’s a lot to be done and although I will not, whenever in the future, have the opportunity as now, to make this contact with you, my prayer always will be for the continuing response to the call of everyone in Bothwell, that you are equipped for the journey together as you face the future.