Gazing on God's Glory - a nice alliterative title for an Assembly.
Overall, it was a good Assembly, not great, in so far as I didn't leave with new ideas or new energy, but certainly not any less than good, because the content was good and the atmosphere generous and gracious (see, I can do alliteration with 'g' too!)
The photo above is the view over the car park outside the hotel where I stayed which was, as you can just make out, next to the bus station.
A lot of speakers spoke about glimsping God in the every day (see, hardly a new idea, even if a good reminder).
I had looked out of the window and snapped a photo of the last vestiges of the sunrise, then thought, no, it's down I need to look... if I claim I know that God's glory is glimpsed here on the 'plain' every bit as on the 'mountain' then that's what I should photograph.
And I deliberately chose to include the double decker bus that was just setting out on its route, as the song flooded my mind, "What if God was one of us, just a stranger on the bus..."
Again, nothing new there, it's a song I've known for years that expresses ideas I've pondered almost as long
So where did I glimpse God's glory - not sure I can honestly claimed to have done much gazing - in Glenrothes?
In the taxi driver who picked me up at Markinch railway station and made conversation about the (cold, grey, drizzly) weather
In the stewards in bright yellow poloshirts and wafting oversized red foam hands, who smiled and joshed as they directed delegates.
In the catering staff of Rothes Halls who served tea and coffee at intervals, and a range of hot and cold food in the cafe at meal times - and especially in the one or two I managed to engage in chit chat.
In the man in the mobility scooter who had come in to use the toilets only to discover he couldn't get in as he needed a speical fob from reception - so I went and got him one.
In the young man who took my breakfast order and the hotel recptionist who checked me in.
In a bowl of piping hot soup and in a ridiculously sweet doughnut
In the stillness of a near deserted car park as I walked back to my hotel at night, and in the silver-grey of morning as I reversed the journey to the Assembly
In the beauty of the bridges over the Forth and the east coast towards Fife.
In the majesty of the Kelpies and in the colours of autmn leaves
In songs I actively disliked (go figure!) and moments when I felt fully alive
In the overload of my senses in the main event, and in the quiet moments sought out to be alone
I learned nothing new. I heard nothing that disturbed my complacency, on the whole it affirmed my reality. And all of that is utterly fine because sometimes what is needed is not new ideas or new inspiration, sometimes what is needed is the 'still, small voice', the 'sound of silence', in which God embraces our ordinariness and declares it good.
The next couple of weeks are going to be utterly manic, in a good way, and for good reasons, and it is hard to explain how glad it makes me to have health and strength sufficient for that reality. I hope, that in the craziness of it all, I will still catch glimpses of God's glory in the people I meet, the environment we share and the things we do.
As the song says:
And yeah, yeah, God is great,
yeah, yeah, God is good,
yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah...