You may have heard the expression: “Seeing the world through Rose Tinted Glasses.”
I guess that’s my story. At the moment we are in a new season at church where the prophetic is taking centre stage but in a gentle way. We are seeing the world a little through God’s eyes and starting to see and rejoice in the small miracles we are seeing in our own lives on a daily basis. Little Miracles which are not obvious to others but when we really see them they become so obvious to us. The unexpectedly ‘easy to get’ doctor’s appointment, the 90 minute wait at A and E to get a cut hand both seen and treated, and then to be released. Its only when we stop and think we see these little miracles and see God’s hand in them.
Interestingly when we see Prophecy being released often the finger of Prophecy points at ourselves and we see what we haven’t seen before and see how God has been moving things behind the scenes for years to make this one thing become clear.
On the journey to Driffield this weekend we had to drive past the Imperial War Museum where the planes are on display. We have passed this dozens of times. On Thursday as we passed it I started thinking about my school days: I had had regular flying lessons whilst part of the Air Cadet Force. Suddenly a cascade of memories opened up to me as the Holy Spirit prompted me about all the amazing things I have accomplished in my life: flying, becoming a marksman, shooting Bren Guns, abseiling down walls, becoming the Head Boy of the CCF, becoming a teacher of other cadets, and on and on and on it went, overwhelmingly so, at times. Meeting Ann, then university, chairman of the Christian Union, putting on Evangelistic concerts at college with the likes of After the Fire and on and on and on it rolled.
In the middle of this I realized that I had never seen my life in this way as I had been looking at my life through a pair of tinted glasses that said, “You were never quite good enough”. I know when and how I had got these glasses (my parents) and everything became viewed through this lens…I was told that Ann was never quite good enough, ( LET ME ADD THAT THIS IS THE ONE DECISION I HAVE NEVER EVER REGRETED ) joining the Police was never good enough…becoming a Christian never good enough and on and on and on it rolled down the years. How dare I say I was an evangelist? “Never quite good enough” I would never be a Paul Epton or a J John.
I realized it also clouded my judgment. We have been here 11 years and our Regional Leader hasn’t once been in touch on a personal level to see how we are coping. This has made me increasingly angry with him and the organisation but mainly fuelled with the “You were never quite good enough” so there is no wonder he won’t be interested in me, but this made me mad because he should be interested. I now have to rethink all that.
When I left the Police not one colleague came and saw me or kept in touch. You see I was never quite good enough.
So enter God. Two years ago, we took our house back in Driffield. The first weekend we were there I went to the Butchers Dog for a drink our first time. Inside I met DT a former sergeant of mine whom I hadn’t seen in tens of years. He welcomed me like a lost friend, and I thought how good that was. Two years passed and I haven’t seen him again. A few weeks late I met Robin Cross in the Dog with his wife Pat, Robin had been an inspector I worked under and he too welcomed us like lost friends with no mention of the disgrace I felt about not being man enough to stay the course as a policeman. And again two years passed and I didn’t see him again. But at last I was starting to deal with the guilt I felt about leaving.
So this weekend I have been re-evaluating my life; now I have removed the tinted glasses. I even have to keep asking Ann what the phrase was I used as even that is disappearing form my memory “You were never quite good enough”.
So on Thursday night I went to the Butchers Dog and who walked in to it just ahead of us DT and once again we met like long lost friends. On Friday who was there but Robin and his wife with another Police Man, a senior officer whose name I don’t even remember. He came over and whispered to me “I remember you, do you remember that man who nearly got away with murder? We were right weren’t we, you and I?” then he added “the last time I saw you was 1994.”
Like a friend of ours would say “Spooky!” We know what she means.
So this weekend I have been a bit subdued as I troll through all my memories, yes, there have been some mistakes, but overwhelmingly memories are returning to me of success after success from YEAST (the Yorkshire East School’s Team we led) to the EET (Elim’s Evangelistic Team) to leading a team here at Leigh Elim Church. The list is huge.