The other day I found myself wandering around my old theological college. It’d been quite a while since I had last visited, perhaps some 15 years or so, and I hadn’t arranged to visit. Some things had changed — the local off-licence where we bought our wine had had its windows bricked up and was now student accommodation, but the heart of the college was reassuringly familiar. The notice boards could have been from my day, except I noticed that it was one of my contemporaries who was advertised as the learned speaker on St Augustine in a talk at the university. They were still keeping the tradition of letting half the garden at the centre of the college flourish as ‘maintained wilderness’ — all looked very familiar.
I made my way to the chapel — the heart of the college — where we would meet before breakfast, evening meal and bedtime for formal-yet-infomal prayers. I was disturbed because I could not find the bell that used to summon us to prayers each day. A woman in her late twenties was sitting quietly in the back, taking some time out during the day. I asked where the bell had gone — I had mis-remembered — it was 10 yards away from the chapel door, outside the entrance to the library. Not wanting to disturb her further, I did not stay, but not before gazing into the distance, looking for the icon in the chancel. Although I could not make it out at that distance, I knew well the words written on it:
“The one who calls you is faithful”.
I’d like to leave you with that thought — that as we grow older, and both remember and mis-remeber who we are and what we have been doing, that God himself knows and remembers who we are, and is faithful to us as we seek to find and follow him. Do take some time this summer to reflect, to be thankful for the good and for the grace to live through the bad. Place yourself into the hands of the Lord, return, offer yourself, seek and find — the one who calls you is faithful.
Yours, as ever