10th September

When You Feel A Failure

I trust you will know that we are not failures. We pray to God that you will do no wrong – not in order to show that we are a success, but so that you may do what is right, even though we may seem to be failures. For we cannot do a thing against the truth, only for it. 2 Corinthians 13: 7, 8

The man who wrote a biography of David of Wales five hundred years after David’s death was so keen to promote his own diocese that he would record any bit of folk lore, however far -fetched, that served to make his diocese seem more important.

So although we cannot take all that is written at face value, it would be foolish not to reflect upon those episodes which, when the embroidery is removed, were clearly believed to have taken place.

One such is the belief that Patrick, when he returned to his parents on the north west coast of Britain, came on a mission to Dyfed, and intended to settle at an attractive place there named Rosina Vallis. However, an angel spoke to him in a vision: ‘God has not planned this place for you, but for a son of his (David) who will not be born until the next generation’. Patrick probably felt rejected and rather a failure, until God gave him the call to be the leader of a mission to Ireland, affirming him with these words: ‘You will be radiant with signs and virtues, bringing the whole nation under my rule. I will be with you’. The place where this vision was given came to be known as Patrick’s Seat.

Patrick made his preparations, and before he boarded the boat for Ireland, God used him to raise someone from the dead!

How often do we feel a failure? Remember Patrick’s Seat. He felt a failure, but went on to raise someone from the dead and to win a nation to Christ! Find a seat where you can contemplate, not what is not to be, but what, under God, is yet to be. There is always a ‘yet to be’ with God. The darkest moment of night comes just before the dawn.

You pour your grace on those in distress
Without stop or stint
Son of Mary , Son of the disappointments,
Who was, who shall be
With ebb and flow
Be with me wherever I go