In my last post on “Guidance” I described how the door opened again for me to make an application to St John’s College for the post of senior chaplain.
Of the five CS’s, CIRCUMSTANTIAL SIGNS had had its box ticked. After all, if the door hadn’t opened again, there would have been no need for further guidance.
But was it right to leave Clayesmore? After all, we had only been there for three years, and I didn’t feel that the work was completed. Many pupils had come to faith, more than a quarter of the School were in cell groups, but they needed nurturing. And we were very happy there.
And changing countries is not an easy process.
A retired Anglican priest said to me, “I’ll show you a new way of praying.”
I was intrigued.
“Make a list of all the reasons you should NOT leave Clayesmore, and next to it make a list of all the reason you should NOT go to St John’s. Then live with it for three days and see what your heart says.”
You will notice that this is NOT a “Pros and Cons” list. It is two “Cons”!
“Then when the three days are up, make a list of all the reasons why you SHOULD leave Clayesmore and all the reasons why you SHOULD go to St John’s. Live with it for three days and see what your heart says then.”
So I did.
There were lots of reasons why we should not leave Clayesmore. And there were lots of reasons why we should not go to St John’s. Why would anyone want to live in a big city instead of the Dorset countryside? Why would anyone want their salary divided by 4?
But as I lived with this list for three days, I felt strangely uneasy.
Then I made the second list.
There were far fewer reasons why we should leave Clayesmore, and far fewer reasons why we should go to St John’s.
But I felt a growing excitement.
The Holy Spirit in my heart was guiding me.
This is what Nicky Gumbel in his book “Questions of Life” calls the COMPELLING SPIRIT.
Yet another CS.
But what about the other three?
COMMON SENSE, COMMANDING SCRIPTURE and COUNSEL OF THE SAINTS?
That was to come!