Just a thought

The road ahead

I once heard a story about a truck driver who was setting out in the middle of the night on a cross country drive from Montreal to Vancouver. He got into the driver’s seat, started the engine, and switched on the headlights. As he peered into the dark night, he thought to himself, ‘I am about to start on a journey of thousands of miles, but these lights only light up a few yards of the road ahead. This is madness.’ He wondered what to do.

Switch off the engine, give up on the journey, and go to bed until daylight? Start off on the journey anyway? Giving up on the journey shows his uncertainty about the lights and his lack of understanding that he himself is the light. Starting out on the journey when he could see only a few yards of the road ahead may have its risks, but he might come to realise that he himself is generating light into the darkness of each mile of the journey. In other words, the light is traveling with him.

The light that we take with us is not about the light we get from a bulb or lamp. It is about the inner glow of contentment, love and peacefulness that permeates our very being and our relationship with others. In John 8.12, Jesus says, ‘I am the light of the world. Whosoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life’. This means looking beyond what we can see and stepping out in faith. As a Christian, I am encouraged by these words because I know that Jesus will never go back on a promise. Whatever happens, we are not on our own, even on the darkest night because the light of Christ shines on in us.

I hope that I have let that light shine through in my ministry to you. I was called for a particular time and my experience of Christian ministry in the parish has been a joyful one, but on May 31st I will step out into the unknown with the light of Christ to guide me. It has been a great privilege serving as the Interim Priest in Charge at Pirbright for the past two years, and for about six months prior to that. My sense is that there is much to celebrate about the way the Gospel mission is lived out in Pirbright. However, living out such a mission is not without its challenges. Such challenges can be used as a basis for opportunity and change. It is that time for St Michaels and All Angels Church, and indeed for the whole parish, particularly in the context of the current discussions on the future of St Michael’s.

My prayer is that the church will harness this opportunity to let its lights shine, one bulb at a time, as it continues to uncover the mission and ministry needs of the community and serve it faithfully. I have met some wonderful people and will be back to help occasionally until the new priest is appointed.                                                                                                        Rev Beverley Hunt

Bluebell wood