The Opposition

All the CS’s had lined up. (See previous post “Common Sense” etc.)

But often when there is an open door the enemy will oppose it.

Or sometimes the opposition seems to come from God. There is a wide open door, and then it threatens to swing shut.

Perhaps God is saying, “Do you trust Me?”

Or “Do you want this because YOU want it, not because I want it?”

In any event, after all the CS’s were favourable, the door threatened to close.

But this curved ball came from a totally unexpected quarter.

Jill and I had to go to London for a tele-interview. The St John’s headmaster had assured me it was a mere formality.

What was disconcerting was that we could not see the faces of the people interviewing us….

Suddenly out of the dark came, “What would Bishop Peter and Bishop Andrew say about you?” (Not their real names.)

Disconcerting to say the least.

Bishop Peter had been my diocesan bishop and was not at all in favour of my charismatic spirituality, to put it mildly.  He had refused to ordain me under any circumstances. It had been very painful.

Bishop Andrew had encouraged me through four years of study and then allowed me to work in his diocese. It was he who had ordained me.

Now out of the dark came this completely unexpected question.

I was shocked.

Somehow the Holy Spirit gave me the right words.

“Bishop Peter would say I was far too enthusiastic, and Bishop Andrew would be totally supportive.”

But now I knew there could be a hostile member on the panel.

When it was over, I said to Jill, “That’s torn it.”

“How do you know they’ve turned the sound off in Johannesburg?” she replied.

“That’s really torn it! Let’s go!”

And so we travelled back to Dorset.

“Christians in Sport” were running a mission in the school and the head of it was with me that afternoon.

“This bishop has come back to haunt me,” I told him. “I need to forgive him all over again.”

So he prayed with me and I did.

Then a cell group came in and we prayed and had communion together.

I had perfect peace.

As the boys left at 5.30, the phone rang.

It was the St John’s headmaster, telling me that I had been appointed.