No choices, just situations

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Like Paul Levy, I have to confess to having been away from this blog for far too long. It's as well there is no contractual obligation to write anything. But there is an ethical one, so I shall try to catch up . 

Last weekend I was in Northern Ireland with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, and enjoyed hospitality with Paul Levy's in-laws. Anyone wishing to contact me privately may do so; I found out a lot about the Bishop of Ealing in conversation with his father-in-law. Most of it was good, but none of it can be put in the public domain. 

It was an enjoyable trip; I do like Presbytery meetings at which the election of the new Moderator and the presentation of annual reports can all be done within an hour, leaving the rest of the day free for Bible study and exposition. 

Actually, for me personally it was an oasis in the desert; a series of difficult Providences led to me taking leave of absence for a couple of weeks. I found that the fellowship of the Lord's people actually helped to reintegrate me into ministry. There are good Providences too. 

In the meantime I've been preparing for a lecture I've to give in the Summer on David Livingstone, and been reflecting on something one of her biographers says of Livingstone's wife - that she had 'no choices, only situations'. Perhaps for Mary Livingstone that just meant having to leave the choices to her more famous husband, but sometimes in Providence there are times when that is absolutely true - we have no room to make choices, simply the sense of being hemmed in and having to seek grace for the situation in which we find ourselves. 

And always, the grace is sufficient. 

Posted May 2, 2013 @ 8:51 AM by Iain D Campbell

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