The Blog of Pastor Mike Wilkins

In The Long Run

"The long run" referred to in the title of this blog is, in the first place, the many years Mike Wilkins served as West London's solo pastor, and then its Senior Pastor, since he and his wife Deb moved to London (and this church) in 1984.

In these past few years (beginning November 2011,) Mike's various health challenges, particularly a serious and ongoing case of cancer, has added another layer to the "long run" metaphor, and lots to blog about. Mike is currently on an extended Sick Leave, but generally worships with the church family on Sunday mornings.

With the publication of a book he wrote in 2016 entitled "Glory in the Face" (now available electronically and in paperback from Amazon.ca, and other online venders), Mike has just launched a new website, which will serve as a sort of scrapbook for readers of the book, with relevant background photos, for example, of That Last Final Solo Canoe Trip in May, 2011, as well as additional information about the book, and--coming soon--a new set of blog posts, mostly about the peace of God and the joy of the Lord and the face of Christ and the strength to face anything. You'll find the new website now at www.gloryintheface.com.

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  • Nov27Wed

    A certain man

    November 27, 2013

    The name of this blog of mine ("In the Long Run") springs from the truth that, for better or for worse, I have been West London's pastor for years and years and years. One of the great advantages of such "a long run" is that I hardly ever have to say, "Hm. We've never experienced THIS before." As it happens, I did say those very words this past Sunday when for the first time in 29 years, the Worship Services were called because of snow.

    Driving home at the strange Sunday morning hour of 10:00 a.m., I was thinking about the Morning Services that were evidently not meant to be. As my thoughts then shifted to the week ahead, with a Tuesday morning appointment with the oncologist and my Friday morning reservation at the Chemotherapy Suite, it occurred to me that this Sunday morning was a parable: a parable about me, and for me.

    "A certain man pastored a very kindly and respectful congregation for many years. And it came to pass that one particular week, he prepared a Sunday sermon to preach to the congregation, as for those many years he usually did. And he did so diligently for over the years two related truths had been made very clear to him: that a good sermon can do some people some good, and that not all sermons are created equal, some of them turning out to be not very good at all. When Saturday evening came to pass, as for many years it always had, beholding that every necessary Sunday morning thing was prepared (his notes and the congregation's Outline and the slide show and the projectionist's notes and the Order of Service), the pastor said his Saturday evening prayers, as he usually always did. And so he committed the entire endeavour to the Lord, asking God to make use of his efforts of the week, and his efforts of the morning to come, to do the people at least some good.

    And it came to pass on the morrow that it was decided that the sermon must not be preached because, as the saying goes, the snow must go on. And so the pastor drove home (for an evil Bureaucratic Empire had once again suspended its suspension of his Driver's License) [but that's a parable for another time.] And verily, as he drove, the pastor reflected on the truth that although he did not after all receive the privilege of offering the sermon to the church family, even though it might have done some of them some good, he HAD in fact offered the entire endeavour to the Lord. And that, he concluded, must be good enough."

    Meanwhile back in Real Life, I meet again this week with my faithful and attentive oncologist, who always looks at me (and talks to me) as if I were a man more likely to die of cancer than to survive cancer, as in his professional opinion he thinks I am. And as I do, I will reflect on the truth that in fact I may not actually receive the privilege of pastoring this church for the next ten years, as I am more than willing to live long enough to do. And I will remember to say to myself, as we have been told we ought to say: "If the Lord wills, I shall live and do this or that" [James 4:15].

    But I CAN offer the entire endeavour to the Lord. And that, I conclude, must be good enough.