A couple of weeks ago I went for a walk. I walked west around the South Coast admiring its beauty as I like to do. The waves were large and were tumultuously crashing onto the rocks causing a lot of white foam to explode into the air before descending onto the shoreline and retreating to where it came from. I noticed the different shades of the driftwood and admired Stavros’ balancing of the rocks, which is a unique form of art.
I continued on my walk and turned up Severn St and continued to climb as I turned onto the walking track that ascends over the hill back towards Island Bay. When I reached the top, I sat down on the bench. I felt hot and I was puffing. And once again, I was struck by the beauty of the same South Coast. Yet the perspective was so different. I observed the patterns of the waves as they travelled northwards. I noticed the differing shades of the Ocean’s blues and greens. I saw the snow covered Kaikouras in the background.
I realised how peaceful it all seemed from above. My journey as a pastor has often felt like this. Sometimes, in the midst of ministry, it can feel like waves are crashing around you and there is turmoil. I still see beauty but life seems busy and restless. Yet something has often happened when I have gone away, to Carey, or a Hui, or a conference, or holiday. God allows me to see life, and church, from a different perspective. And while it can feel difficult to remove myself from the daily
struggle, it is in viewing this wider vision that I realise God is ultimately in control and I feel at peace.
I have learnt that sometimes we need to slow down, retreat, pause and be aware of where God is, what God is doing and what God is saying to us today