Friday, June 26, 2020

Honesty about guidance 3)

The process of testing God's guidance continued with some encouraging experiences and interviews. I needed to gain acceptance by one of the Baptist colleges.  The Principal, of the Baptist college in Oxford University - Regent's Park College - was Dr. Henton Davies. He also happened to be the father of one of Carol's best friends who told Carol to pop in and have tea with her parents while I was speaking to the student group in Oxford.  Boldly, Carol had knocked on his front door and was graciously welcomed in, She told him that her husband was considering training for the ministry. Immediately Henton Davies, a theatrical Welshman, leapt into action: 'He must come here',he commanded.  I think my plans for Regents were already in motion by then but it accounted for a startling follow-up encounter.

I was sitting in Room 32, my office at the top of Baptist Church House in Holborn, when there was a knock on the door. Who should enter but Henton Davies. Fixing gimlet eyes on me he quizzed me about my thoughts on ministry.  I had only seen him as at distance at national Council Meetings and suddenly up-front he was distinctly overwhelming.  As I talked he interrupted: 'What's the word? What's the word? he asked urgently.  When I responded by saying that through different nudges I did feel that God was calling me he jumped up. 'That's it. Call. Call. That's the most important thing'. Then he dropped to his knees on the worn carpet and prayed with passion that I might know the Lord's hand upon me for all God's plans ahead.  I admit that I was worried that others would burst into my office which happened all the time.  But I was also moved at this significant moment and his prayer.

This episode sharpened the guidance issue.  Were all these different experiences and the encouragements amounting to a clear call.  Did I need to be challenged to use this word?  Probably, because call has such a definite ring to it as though something specific has happened.  And much of my story was a series of lower order events.  But, he was right - they did amount to something importance.  And what happened next was specific.....

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