Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday encounter

This afternoon I went into town on a domestic errand, taking advantage of the lull in the crowds while Italy and Wales played the last rugby match of the Six Nations championship in the Millennium Stadium. As I was walking along an empty Edward VII Avenue, I was thinking about my former colleague at City Church, Tom Arthur, who retired last year. I was amazed then the next person to come into sight was Tom himself, out for a brisk walk. It's the first time I've seen him to talk to since he left work and crossed town to live in Canton.

Talking about the blessings of retirement he said: "The only good advice I received was this - just think of it as a career change, not as an end to working life." Funnily enough that just about sums up the way I have been thinking about the move we'll soon be making. Yesterday we booked the removal van for 30th April.

Yes. Tom's right. there are all sorts of things I want to work at, interests I have in the life of the City that will continue to occupy me while I have health and strength. The main priority will be home and family, catching up with old friends and a little travel, but even so that leaves lots of additional time for pursuing interests and being creative, without the compulsion to drive one self to justify one's existence. I wonder how difficult I'll find that. At the heart of it all is the challenge of living the faith, exercising priesthood in different ways, without the burdens of responsibility that go with managing a church and leading a community.

Tom, ever the Reformed Pastor in his passion to read life in the light of the deepest insights into scripture, has turned back to scholarship in retirement, studying St Paul's letter to the Romans, giving a lecture series on it for CACEC and writing a book, as well as returning to his youthful passion for visual arts. I look forward to opportunities to hang out with him in times to come.

As a result of this welcome break in by journey, my errand had to be completed amidst thronging crowds, as the match came to an end and appy red shirted supporters poured out on to the streets. Wales had won their last match. The pubs will be full tonight

No comments: