This article might not be of relevance to anyone other than myself, and given that I end it with ‘the relevance of the article is that this article might just not be relevant’ I am not sure who I expect to read it, but here goes…
Been a challenging year to say the least; maybe the most personally insulting of any of our now (almost) 11 years in Spain. I don’t expect anyone likes to face failure, and truth is failure is very hard to define. In the important areas of life, that of personal relationships and for those of us who are married, those familiar relationships are not easy to assess. I consider I get an ‘average’ in those set. Anyway the areas of husbanding and parenting are not two areas where a ‘failure/ success’ category seems appropriate, and my mantra has been , ‘just muddle along’. Indeed a lot of life I seem to have approached in that way! It is more when we get into the areas of doing something that we should be able to do but come up short that the ‘failure’ category seems to kick in. And that is where the sentence of this paragraph has relevance – been a tough year.
We had some simple tasks, and not just some simple tasks, but revelation with them to enable the tasks to be fulfilled. The signs that we had done something close to fulfilling what we were to do would be visible in the public arena. On both fronts the signs have either not manifested or even the opposite has become visible. That makes for a tough year. Maybe even the ‘failure’ label is justified.
There are some riders which I hope I do not make into excuses:
- The apostolic vision is marked by ‘patience’. A long term vision is required in which there will be setbacks and advances.
- No kingdom activity is wasted. Harvests are reaped after seed has been sown. Seed ‘dies’ when it enters the ground. Jesus (Jn. 4) informed the disciples that they would reap where they had not sown, but it is not possible to reap where no-one has sown.
- Sometimes aspects we want to shift get visibly stronger before they shift. There is a final manifestation (or series of final manifestations) before the change.
- We see in part, no-one has the whole picture.
In life we all fail but two key things seem to be important. To fail does not make us a failure. Thank God for that! And secondly, we can only make tentative responses as our assessment is warped.
Might have been a tough year. In some ways that is almost irrelevant. So the relevance of the article is that this article might just not be relevant.