Viewpoint from Rev Roger Key 27/07/2018
Rev Roger Key
Minister, St Margaret’s Church, Hopton
as published in the Yarmouth Mercury
I recently underwent surgery in the James Paget Hospital. I am grateful to the dedicated staff-team there for having cared for me so well. I am also very glad that the histology report on the excised tissue ruled out any malignancy. That news has removed a large burden of worry from me, and I dare say, from my family too. All of this relief comes despite the frightening recurrence of sepsis which took me back into the ward again just days after my discharge from it postoperatively
My return to my pastoral duties in the Benefice will be much more gradually phased in this time around as I do not want a repeat of my previous experience. Then, my head, with its overbearing sense of duty and responsibility, failed to listen to my body, which had not yet fully recovered, but which I was still expecting to carry out all those duties!
I really did put the cart before the horse there and was also confused enough to be surprised when neither stick nor carrot were actually working!
Besides all of this physical stuff another humbling lesson has been learned – and that is that I am not indispensable. It is a sobering realisation and somewhat painful to my ego too. Yet, at the same time, it has also been vastly liberating
I am most grateful and beholden to those who have ‘filled the gaps’ in my absence. However, this gratitude is now not so much of being thankful for their having released me by substituting and covering for me, but more from the point of them having been willing to exercise their ministry, entirely in its own right, by being God’s Minister there and then for God’s people
It could also be said that watching Gareth Southgate’s exemplary management and empowering of the English World Cup team of both players and support staff, during the series of matches in Russia, made me as much aware of this truth about being indispensable as does St Paul, writing in his first letter to the squabbling church-team in Corinth, Chapter 3:5-7 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth
So then, not only has my body had to lose something in order to regain its health; but my soul has had to learn something too in the process of learning the lessons of humility
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