This time, last year, I'd voted.
Marked a box with an 'X', and waited,
wondering what the morning would bring.
It was a time of anticipation and hope.
Morning brought a closer than anticipated 'no',
deep disappointment, but nevertheless, a desire to see how best to work together regardless of where 'X's went in boxes.
It was also a time of personal preparation: I was to preach as sole nominee of a lovely, rural charge. Before getting to that point, I'd thought up at least 27 very logical and sensible reasons for not applying before I was interviewed, and yet, I remember driving away from that interview, knowing that something had shifted inside. On a gloriously, almost impossibly sunny day, as I headed back home, I had one of those say it out loud moments in the car, as realisation dawned.
I found myself saying:
'if they ask me to preach as sole nominee,
I'm going to say "yes", aren't I, Lord?'
I said 'yes'.
A year ago this Sunday - the Sunday immediately after the Scottish Referendum, I preached as sole nominee. Given what was happening nationally, in many ways, it was a bit of a scunner of a day to be preaching! While trying to keep an integrity to worship, and to honour the One we follow, there was also the knowledge that this was, in a sense, part 2 of the interview, moving beyond the Nominating Committee, and into the more public domain of the wider congregation.
I remember thinking that I just had to shake off the thought, and crack on with worship, and yet...
On that day, I asked.
They [mostly] said 'yes'.
I wouldn't swap it for the world, and, a little like the Referendum, here within the parish,
the same thought and desire is uppermost:
to see how we can best work together, regardless of the 'mibbes ayes', or 'mibbes naws'.
It's been an astonishing time so far.
God is good.