Whilst reading through the paperwork for the AGM, I was reminded about ‘Perspectives’ the forum that I sometimes choose to submit to. Unfortunately, because of several urgent and personal difficulties in my life I hadn’t provided anything in recent times.

I was prompted by Spirit to seek out some words that may provide both me and others inspiration. Where better to look than the SNU hymn book. So I dug out my trusty, dog eared 1982 copy and as directed opened it randomly.

Hymn number 119 resulted. A hymn I have never sung nor if memory serves me, ever read before. The words served to remind me of God’s eternal promise to each of us that earthly life, with whatever it holds, is only a steppingstone of experience towards our final intended place. The words of the hymn are given below. I found this reminder both reassuring and calming (especially the final verse), I hope that you might find the same. If you feel inclined to sing the hymn the tune is Austria (Courage Brother do not Stumble). God Bless.

Toiling on life’s rugged highway,

Bowed with burdens, scarred with care,

Lift thine eyes to yonder brightness,

Shining from the new world there.

Here the garb of earth enfolds thee,

Torn and faded, stained and worn,

But no tongue can tell the beauty

Of the spirit newly born.

Onward, upward, hoping ever,

Singing as you gladly go

To the beauteous hereafter,

From the shades of death below.

Then will come the great deliverance,

When the earthly falls away.

Night and hiding gone forever,

In the all-revealing day.

Then the germs of earth will ripen

In the glorious Summerland,

And the hidden manhood in us

To divinest forms expand.

Toiling on life’s rugged highway,

Rich man, poor man, foolish, wise,

All are struggling into sunlight

All are angels in disguise.

Minister Alan Rawnsley