I really am getting old. How do I know? Well, I used to be glued to the TV for the whole of Wimbledon, but that’s not so much the case now. All the players that were my heroes are long since gone out of the grand slam tournament circuit. The great days for me was the era of Rod Laver and John Newcombe, Stan Smith and Ilie Nastase, Billie Jean King and Margaret Court and Anne Jones and Virginia Wade! Watching Murray were some of these great champions from the past. This was pointed out to him by the interviewer, but he looked singularly unimpressed!
Perhaps it is just Andy’s personality, perhaps it is pride, but just perhaps it was right for him to look like that. The fact is that none of those great names of the past at their age now could do what Murray did today or may yet do in his astonishing tennis career. They had their place and day, but this day belongs to Murray and his contemporaries. Their day will pass too and when it does it will be difficult for fans to accept it. Things move on. My old headmaster said that when he was asked by former pupils how the school was getting on, he would say, “It is twice as good as ever and half as good as when you were there!” Diplomacy! It is always possible to make an idol of the past.
I am remembering today ministers who I still stand in awe of because of their pastoral or preaching ability. They taught me much and gave me a direction in which to grow and as I did discover what ministry looked like for me. Some of them are still ministering, some are dead and gone or undeniably in the latter stages of their lives. However I am still here with an opportunity to minister through this blog. All our days are passing days. It is simple fact.
I am thinking of a verse that I have mentioned before in my blog: “As they say, “It’s better to be a live dog than a dead lion!” (Ecclesiastes 9:4)I hope if you are preaching this weekend that you realise the full privilege of being alive and able so to do. You have the potential this very weekend to bring God glory now and be the means of lives being changed. Don’t be so awed by the lions of preaching or teaching or pastoring in your story that you have been blessed by that you devalue your own call and significance… but let the memory of them keep you suitably grateful and humble! I hope on the other hand that if you are listening to preaching or teaching, that though you may be thankful for the good old days and long for Mr. or Mrs. “Whoever they were” to be your minister still, you will try not to repeatedly mention that person’s blessed name to your current pastor! According to my bible the minister/pastor/teacher you have now is Christ’s gift to the church, including you and your church. Please receive with gratefulness Christ’s gift to you even if you have to bring an honest prayer to God, “Lord, why on earth or in heaven did you think we needed this gift?” Pray that, and you and/or the congregation you are part of may get a humbling surprise as He shows you.
God bless you and the congregation you are part of!