Sunday, 31 May 2015

Sandcastles of Mission

"Let us build a castle at the edge of the sea,
the tide is going out, 
it SHOULD be a doddle...
what can go wrong with such an excellent scheme?"

I stood in the sea, scooping up spadefuls of coarse sand.
The KHT sat on the beach, 
shovelling steadily

Waves came
and in a moment 
everything we had accomplished was gone.
Wiped off the map.
Levelled.
Flattened.
Obliterated.
It was as if we had never bothered.
To add insult to injury
the cold sea threatened to soak my rolled up trousers!

I retreated from the water
and began again.

Time after time a wave would come
and wash away our efforts.
We kept going.
persistantly shovelling.
Slowly a mound of shingly sand appeared, 
that the retreating tide did not wash away.


As I sat on the beach,
and looked at the myriad of small particles.
I looked at out our 'castle'.
I was reminded of the work that we do,
the projects we undertake as churches.
The meetings we have,
the plans we make,
the events we hold.
We pray,
discern God's will
and commit ourselves to the task,
but we often do not get the response we hoped for.
Sometimes we wonder why we bother.
Wouldn't it be simpler just to give up on mission and concentrate on the folks who are interested,
and make the churches safer, cosier places?
Churches should be safe, cosy, welcoming places for all,
not just the faithful.
We are not called to form a social club,
we are called to keep on working,
reaching out to those beyond the church walls,
even if it feels as if our efforts are worthless.
Our task is to keep on with the tasks we are called to do.
It is not our job to measure success,
for often we will influence others
and we may not hear about the effect we have,
until years later, if ever.
Keep on serving faithfully,
keep working diligently,
before the tide turns,
and the sea comes rushing back...