Friday, 7 September 2012

A Palace fit for a Bishop

Today has been a special day – I have been to a palace!

Not Buckingham Palace, I haven’t been to see the Queen.

I have been to Bishopthorpe Palace, home of the Archbishop of York.

Alas he didn’t ask me to stay for lunch, I’d brought my own sandwiches and sat on a bench outside, although the aroma from the dining room was delicious. 

what an amazing lawn - wish mine looked like that!

fabulous house too, side entrance, scaffolding up at the front!

Actually I never even got to see Archbishop Sentemu but I could hear him talking with his guests.

No I wasn’t gate-crashing and neither did I wander in unannounced from the street. I had been invited for an interview.

Sometime back on the Archbishop’s website I came across a section entitled “Faith Stories”. It featured short interviews of ordinary people sharing their stories and how their faith has impacted their lives. At the bottom of the page it asked for people to get in touch if they had a tale to tell and would like to be involved with the next series.

Obviously we ALL have a story of one sort or another and at that time I was in the frame of mind to get my own story told, write a book, become a publishing sensation etc. etc. So I sent an email in with a few details.

I had basically forgotten all about it or at least in my bleaker moments thought it was another door I’d tried to push open that had swung shut in my face.

Until I got an email in the summer holiday asking if I was still interested and would I like to come for an interview?

Never one to turn down an exciting opportunity I said yes straight away.

Then the doubts came along, slowly at first then thick and fast. The title of this venture was “Faith Stories”. I knew I had an interesting story but God and I have had a rocky year, could I really talk about my faith? Was I a fraud seeking attention?

This morning I had a minor falling out with youngest son and he left for school without saying goodbye.

It struck me that my relationship with my son has some similarities to the relationship I have with my heavenly Father.

Children often believe their parents haven’t got a clue and sometimes I treat God with the same contempt.

The basic problem is that the plan I have for my life is so different from God’s plan. I get cross with Him and stop talking when things don’t go my own way. Just like my son refused to speak to me because I didn’t do what he wanted.

My faith, love and trust is always there, underneath, all too often buried deep and in a real time of need I will go running back to God. In the same way my sons will soon come and find me if they have a real problem, after all I just might know enough to fix it!

God has been teaching me this year through the hard times to let go of my plans and let Him take control.

So this morning I prayed, as in properly prayed, for the first time in weeks. School holidays, the lack of routine and not going to church for a few weeks has seriously depleted my spiritual reserves and it was time to get back in touch.

“God, I believe you are there, all the time, and I am sorry (AGAIN!). This opportunity today is from you and I pray you will give me the right words to say, that I will express my faith in a way that touches and helps other people.”

My interview went well and apparently I came across articulately, which surprised me as I usually waffle when talking. So maybe God was listening this morning to my prayer. I can imagine His wry smile. He always knew one day soon I would pick up our conversation.

“Well God, I’ve been honest and open and now my story is out there for You to take and use for Your plans and Your glory!  Amen”


You can find out about "Faith Stories" HERE

And here's the link to my faith story video - Keeping God at the Centre

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