Painting and decorating were things I did with my dad. He occasionally asked a more experienced neighbour to do trickier jobs, but regular upheaval and renewal of the house were domestic chores. Only later on in life, once his sidekick (yours truly) was off the scene, did a professional get employed.
You need patience for decoration. It is done one piece of paper, or one brush stroke, at a time. Mistakes needs acknowledging straight away, forgiving yourself, taking remedial action, and carry on. You focus on the task, not the big picture. It is later, when complete, furniture replaced, that it dawns on you, even though you’ve been actively involved, that the place is changed.
I did comment a few months ago, I forget the context, that you can look at All Saints over the past three years and say nothing is really that different. In the same paragraph I also noted that if you look at All Saints over the past three years, so many things are no longer what they were. I suppose it depends if you are looking at the bit you are decorating, or if you have, prayerfully, stood back and looked more widely.
God is busy in his house. Holiday Club and Kidzone, Ignite, Freedom in Christ, which are recent, but Olive Branch, JAS, Xxxxxx (you fill that gap), Prayer Ministry, HOTs, Alpha, Couples’ and Parents’ Course, Lounge TV… all are developing, changing, growing with those I haven’t listed. And the new Readers, ministers, curate…
I list some, and invite you to realise you are part of it. Recognise where you are in the decorating. Recognise it is God’s Living House. BUT, realise this, the partnership that makes the decoration permanent and beautiful, though it happens through action, is in prayer first.
Where are you engaged in prayer, I want you to ask yourself. Whatever you do, this, that essential preparation of the surfaces, needs your involvement. Thank you, most of all, that you are engaged here. Everything else, literally, hangs on this. And is sustained by watchful prayer.
And please, when God calls you to new places of prayer, follow.