Monday, 5 April 2010

Time Waits for Nobody

I arrived at my first church full of the enthusiasm of youth and the newly graduated. I was ready to evangelise the parish. But before we begin that said the church officials there are some vital repairs that need doing and the church organ is badly in need of repair or replacement. So fundraising began and slowly but surely the church buildings were looking in great shape. Now we can start to evangelise the parish. “We still need to replace the organ,” said the session clerk. So another year of fundraising and a new organ was purchased. “Now we can evangelise the parish,” said the session clerk. “Well,” said I, “we could but I have been called to another church and parish. The evangelising of the parish will have to wait for the new minister.”

So I arrived at my second Church and parish. At the first meeting I was made aware of the seriousness of the church roof. The plaster was in danger of falling in on the congregation to serious injury. Also there was the problem of church out buildings there was a real serious health and safety issue there also. So the first year we spent with a group of volunteers repairing the roof. The next few years fundraising and repairing the halls and buildings. The place was looking good. The session clerk said, “What was it you had in mind to evangelise the parish?” “Well I had all sorts of ideas but I have been called to another church and the evangelisation will have to be done by the next minister.

I moved again to a lovely parish nestled under the hills. Here I was aware of a real shortage of accommodation. The problem could be solved by rebuilding the old garages and washrooms and servants quarters at the back of the manse. Volunteers were called for and the massive building project began. After a great deal of effort and dedicated toil the church boasted a beautiful suit of halls and offices.

“Now,” said the Kirk Session, “we can begin that project you had in mind to evangelise the parish.” “Sadly,” I said, “I have decided to return to university and take up the challenge of teaching. It has been pointed out to me that I have a skill at communication and maybe I should put it to use. I hope the new minister is successful at evangelising the parish.”

Isn’t it amazing how we can always find time for things, but often never for the things we should be doing. All the dreams and projects that are laid aside and time made for other things. We have no time, is the clarion call.

This blog is linked to my other blog where the artwork used is discussed:- The Mirage


  1. So true Ralph; and the older one gets the more one realizes one must accomplish more each day as indeed 'time is running out'.

  2. Truly a sad statement about some church priorities, isn't it? And for some reason, that old song "Cats in the Cradle" comes to mind...

  3. Great job Ralph! I knew at an early age that I wanted to "be an artist", actually make a living at it. I became 50 years old and had a construction business with 12 employees and on that 50th birthday I thought if I don't "become an artist now, when will I?" So that is when I did it. Often we say we can't or don't have the time out of fear of straying away from the comfortable. Or we don't have time because every-
    thing must "be perfect" before we make that leap.
    Before we know it time has past and we are right where we were! I am reminded of a person asking advice as to whether she was too old to go back to school. "It will take me three years in school and I will be 50 years old", she said. Her advisor asked her how old she would be in three years if she didn't go back to school!

  4. Yes I like that Jerry time moves on whether we do or dont. Yes Autumn leaves it is indeed a sad reflection but it is also equally as sad for the individual like Jerry talks of who is scared to grasp the moment but that for sure is not you. Jerry did not miss out he made the decision and has shown he was right to do so. I think I waited too long to ever become either the artist or the writer I dreamt of becoming.

  5. Your story is well told and I pay heed to the clarion call. What presents itself as urgent is often not crucial. It takes wisdom to tell the difference. Oh, for more wisdom!

  6. Okay, I'm going to stop wasting time on the computer and go paint now!