thank you once again

Hi

I’m currently on study leave.  That said, it’s a bit of a blend of actual study, reflective reading, sleep, planning, watching a great State of Origin game last night, and especially enjoying the beauty of this part of the world – on the Sunshine Coast, midwinter in Australia.  Dale’s enjoying special time with her family in the U.S.  So – with a full-on past few months and the Uniting Church Assembly in Adelaide just over a week away … this is indeed a great time to get away.  Been reading Max Lucado’s Traveling Light. A wonderful book!

I’m at the Retreat House at the UC’s Alexandra Park Conference Centre. Alex. Park is as close as it gets to being a ‘sacred site’ for me. It’s here back in the 70s and 80s that I explicitly made a commitment to Christ.  It’s here – through year after year of children’s, youth and young adult camps (many which I led) that I not only was able to give expression to a gifting in songwriting, but as I look back – it’s through this special place, that God aroused and then confirmed a call to ministry in me. I am so thankful.

The place of course has changed much over the years, most particularly over 20 years ago when the almost-iconic esplanade frontage was sold off … much to the dismay of many in the former Presbyterian church (such as myself) who had such fond memories of the old, larger site.  Its founder Rev Norman Nelson decades ago wrote a book about the original purposes of Alexandra Park – To Help Them Find Their Feet.  Certainly that was my experience.

So – I’ve enjoyed walking alongside the bushland still there … down each day to the beach; clear SE Queensland winter skies above.  Soft embrace of waves rolling onto the shore.   This morning I decided to take the one remaining bush walk on the property – there used to be so many. It wasn’t much of a walk – overgrown, impassable at some points.

But it brought it all back – all back.  Back to the time when co-directing a children’s camp and on the second last day (leaders as tired as) we played the old-standby Hunt the leaders.  It meant the leaders hiving off anywhere (and I mean anywhere ) on site to hide.  Kids (about 70 all up) armed with paper and pencil had to find the 12 or so leaders.  A risk management disaster/impossibility these days!   I hid too – they never found me.  I chose a spot off the track in the bush.  Fallen leaves as ground cover.  I fell asleep, only to wake up two hours later by warm late-afternoon sunlight piercing through the canopy above, a gentle breeze wafting above and through me, and on the not-so-distant shore – the sounds of waves rolling gently in.

My time here – bush walk especially has brought it all back.  So I’m going to share with you the lyrics of the song I penned soon after that kairos moment in the Alex. Park bush 35 years ago.  The Christian band I was part of back then – Heartstone performed it. Audiences would also resonate with it.   It speaks of the wonder and glory and beauty that is God and God’s creation.  “Living in you never meant so much before”. Thank you, God.  Thank you God. David

 

Thank you, once again

Living in you … I’m still a young man
But I’ve been around long enough to grow
But it all just came together one Friday afternoon
When the wonder of yourself … you really showed
You really showed.

And all that I can do, Lord
is to thank you once again
for the rising sun of morning
The stars that never end
And whatever sacrifice I give
it really can’t compare
with the love in your creation … love in your creation
Living in you never meant so much before.
Living in you never meant so much before.

All around … just me and the sky
The sounds of the city are nowhere by
I lie for several hours … the sounds of bush and air
‘til the feeling of the raindrops send me home again … back again
And all that I can do, Lord …

I greeted the ocean’s mystery and Lord, you welcomed me
In the love that flowed around my mind could be free
Yes I’m free
And all that I can do, Lord …

 David MacGregor © 1977
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2 Responses to “thank you once again”


  1. 1 aussiegnu July 6, 2012 at 8:58 am

    I remember it well Dave. I love the chorus and can still sing it to my satisfaction (in my head of course)

  2. 2 David MacGregor July 6, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Why only in your head, Gary?! As an old Stevie Wonder album title put it: “Songs in the key of life”. That probably means a whole lot of exotic harmonies for you right now. God hears. God understands. God weeps and rejoices. God appreciates. God is praised.


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