Robert's Ruminations

The thoughts of Revd. Robert, Minister for Emmanuel, Ilfracombe

Vision of the future

The leader of a certain Indian tribe was dying. For many generations his people had been encamped at the base of a large mountain. The chief summoned his three sons and said: "I am dying; before my death I must choose one of you to succeed me as the head of our tribe. I have the same task for each of you. I want you to climb our holy mountain and bring me back something beautiful. The one whose gift is the most outstanding will be the one who will succeed me."

The following morning the sons set out on their search, each taking a different path to the top of the holy mountain. After several days the three sons returned. The first brought his father a flower which grew near the summit of the mountain; it was extremely rare and beautiful. The second son brought his father a valuable stone, round and colourful, which had been polished by rain and sandy winds. When the third son approached his father, everyone saw that his hands were empty.


The empty-handed son said to his father: "I have brought back nothing to show you, father. As I stood on the top of the holy mountain, I saw that on the other side was a beautiful land filled with green pastures. In the middle of these pastures there is a crystal lake. And I have a vision of where our tribe could go for a better life. I was so overwhelmed with what I saw and by what I could see that I could not bring anything back." And the father replied: "You shall be our tribe's new leader, for you have brought back the most precious thing of all - the gift of a vision for a better future."

September is the start of a new Connexional year within the Methodist Church – a time of new beginnings. There are many Circuits across the country welcoming new ministers – the Circuits will have hopes and expectations of the minister and the minister will no doubt be looking forward to a new ministry in a new lace with new people.

For us here in North Devon, it is the start of a new era. We are a team of three ministers now, with new responsibilities being taken on. But it is also a time of challenge and time to seek the vision that God is placing before us. Every one of us has our part to play in trying to discern what we feel God is saying to us in the Circuit. God works through all of us and so I would encourage all of you to think about and pray about the future and, like the third son in our story, look for the vision that God sets before us of how He wants us to live out our lives doing His work and sharing His gospel with others currently outside of our church.

The future begins now! Where we are in say five years’ time is anybody’s guess – but God’s certainty - but one thing cannot be denied is that if we trust in God and seek His direction, then we can achieve so much.

So, I wish you all a Happy New Connexional Year and let’s go forward in God’s power that enables us to do all things.

Every blessing,


Showing Gratitude
United under Christ


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Friday, 18 January 2019

Captcha Image