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Leaders

It is getting quite yellow around the edges. Which is no surprise, given its age. No, it’s not our certificate wedding (although that, too could qualify according to this criteria!)

I can’t recall all the details of that at night but the sense of its significance has never left me from then until now,

It was Friday, 22nd September, 1972. I sat with 6 other men on the platform. For the previous 4 years this “Magnificent Seven” had eaten together, studied together, prayed together, grown together and now they were ready to receive their reward. This was to be the night of their Graduation when their denomination recognised the gifts and graces of God in their lives that qualified them to be recognized as Ministers.

There was no doubt in the minds of any of these men that, while they could hardly change the world on their own, they were certainly going to give it their “their best shot!”

Friends and relatives came from miles around to celebrate this achievement.  We entered the facility as “Pastors” and emerged as “Reverends. Because I had been the Senior Student for our last year, I had the honour of pronouncing the benediction of the close of this service. It was the last item on the order of service. There it was “Benediction: Rev. M.G. Robinson”. I thought my chest might explode with this ultimate affirmation.

The order of Service that I held in my newly ordained hand was clean and pristine white. The same order of service that rests on my desk this afternoon as I type these words is somewhat dog-eared and that strange shade of yellow.

Each of the seven graduates had been asked to prepare a small biographical note to be included with our photos.

I wonder what I wrote?

Yes, just the last three lines……

“I have one great longing in my heart tonight as I look over the years ahead should God give them to me: that I may be found faithful to the God who has counted me worthy to put me in the ministry

 The “years ahead of me” have now become the “years behind me” Forty of them, in fact. My beloved Bev was given 38 years which we shared together in a fulfilling marriage and a ministry that, I believe, has honoured our God. Not perfectly but with integrity, truth and love.

Bev’s “departure to her heavenly home” (she loved that imagery) sees me continuing my part of our journey together alone.

In the last 12 months of her earthly life, I often would say to her that I couldn’t begin to imagine what my life would be like without her in it.

This season of radical change, acceptance and adjustment is made easier by the care and love I receive from our three children and our 5 granddaughters. 

Discovering my purpose for remaining here is now the focus of my daily life. I don’t want to become a spiritual hermit At the risk of being misunderstood, I believe I still have something to offer my fellow believers.

The presence of Parkinson’s Disease places some restraints on my movements and it is to be expected that the disease will continue to progress (although I seem to have a “slower version which responds very well to a new medication).

Quite some years ago I sensed the Lord whisper into my spirit, “I don’t want anything I have taught you to die with you. Pass it on!). So far as I can tell, that directive has never been retracted so I am proceeding believing that this website is one way that I can “pass it on”

While being realistic about the giant hole that Bev’s death has left in my life, in many ways God’s provision is amazing.

  1. I live on my own in a unit that is ideal for me in size and location.

  2. The village life is relaxed, friendly and supportive

  3. While am not loaded with money, I am much better off than many others of my age. What I am saying is that I have no money worries.

  4. Our three children “keep an eye on Dad”. They know how to monitor my well-being without being intrusive. I am very “cared for”.

The writing of the book “OUR JOURNEY THROUGH THE VALLEY, has strengthened my conviction that whatever time I have left, writing is at the heart of that purpose.

 

In a few weeks time I will celebrate my 75th birthday. I keep being reminded that Abraham was 75 years old when the call of God called his life to make a major shift. That tells me that I can’t use his example to excuse myself.

 

I have few regrets as I look back over the 40 years already mentioned. I’m not expecting to be around for another forty years. If my Lord was to call me home tonight (I loved that imagery, too), I am not intimidated by that thought. I think I could go to Him with a sense of completion. But my confidence is not related to anything I have done in the 40 years beginning on that night of ordination – September 22nd, 1972

 

                                                                                                                                                                

 

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