Many years ago, work as a Quantity Surveyor took me to Cullipool on the beautiful Island of Luing (If you’ve never visited Luing – then when we are able to travel more freely, I’d thoroughly recommend it). Having completed my site inspection, I headed to the slip to wait on the ferry home and spotted a distress flare in the sky. In a scene reminiscent of the film Local Hero I found the red phone box and dialed 999.
To cut a long story short, once on the ferry for the short trip across the Cuan Sound I was able to listen to the ferryman’s radio. A fishing boat had sent up the distress flare because a rope had caught in her propeller and rudder, leaving the boat to drift at the mercy of the currents and tide. You don’t need to be a sailor to know that not having the power to set a course and steer the direction you want is a perilous position to be in.
Philippians 1: 12 – 30
As I read Philippians 1: 12 – 30, I was reminded of the above incident and the dangers, the perils, of drifting. I don’t think anyone sets out to “drift” through life, but every so often, things can happen – like a rope caught in our propeller and rudder – which leaves us feeling at the mercy of circumstances. Paul knew what it was to be at the mercy of circumstances; chained to members of the Praetorian Guard, dependant upon his friends for his basic necessities, was not I am sure how he planned for his ministry to go! Yet, Paul did not allow these frustrating circumstances to derail his sense of purpose.
Learning from Paul
This Sunday at QPLive we will look to learn from Paul what it means to live with purpose, what it means to live in a way that unforeseen circumstances – things out of our control – don’t set us adrift, rudderless and with no power.
Why don’t you read Philippians 1: 12 – 30 in preparation for Sunday and ask yourself, “what keeps Paul going even although he is in prison?” To answer this question is, I think, to start to see the purpose for which Paul lived. I guess this also begs the question, “Should this same purpose shape and direct our lives, and if so how?”
As always you can put your thoughts in the live chat on Sunday, or if you’d like to help shape my thoughts for Sunday you can email me.
Thank you for the many expressions of love, concern, and support you have given since the unexpected death of my mum. The flowers, cards, phone calls, WhatsApp messages, you have sent have been so very much appreciated. I have most certainly felt supported in prayer and lifted by your love and care.
Grace and peace,