Irish-Scotch Travel Journal Day – 6

Leaving Dublin, Ireland

Today we transitioned from land to sea, car to ship.

As we transitioned modes of transportation we also began the transition from the study of St. Patrick to other Christians who have changed the world. As we will see, though, Patrick’s influence was an ever expanding ripple in the pond of Kingdom history, even after his death.

One example is Columba. Columba was born in 527 A.D. in Ireland. Columba was a disciple of Finnian of Clonard (470 A.D. – 529 A.D.), who some believe was a disciple of St. Patrick. Columba began as a pupil at a monastery, ultimately becoming a monk and then a priest.

Later, while at Movilla Abbey, Columba made a copy of a Psalter (Book of Psalms). The Abbot there, Finnian of Movilla (not to be confused with Finnian of Clonard) took issue with Columba’s copying of the Psalter and appealed to the local king to decide who owned the copy.

The king decided against Columba under the “calf from the cow rule,” a ruling praised in retrospect by intellectual propery attorneys everywhere. Columba, however, who was young, loved the Word of God, and was unfamiliar with the Copyright Act of 1976, was convinced the king had done a great injustice.

The same king then arrested a man who had sought sanctuary with Columba in the church, and had put him to death. Columba, like Moses who in his zeal rose up against the Egyptian, then purportedly instigated a rebellion against the king in 561 A.D.. Three thousand men died in the rebellion.

Columba was so convicted about the loss of life resulting from his youthful zeal, he vowed, as a penance, to lead 3,000 people to the Lord. As lofty a goal as this was, what Columba achieved later for the kingdom of God was far greater, but I will leave that for a later post when we get to Scotland.

The highlight today was our taxi ride from the rental car return at Dublin International Airport to the port in Dublin. While we were on the motorway traveling at 120 km/hr, Ann complained about her seat, which was slightly reclined. It appeared to the rest of us to be – as the English might say – in a comfortable position of repose. I would go so far as to say it was in a position of modest recline most would have found pleasantly unobjectionable.

Ann, however, persisted that she could not ride in such a position. When she was unable to adjust the seat, the driver offered to pull off the motorway and adjust the seat. Two other members of our team said this was unnecessary and tried to persuade Ann to relent. When she did not, the driver pulled off the motorway, into the grass, to adjust her seat.

He could not adjust the seat to Ann’s preference, so she moved to the front seat, next to the driver. When we were moving again, I asked Ann if there was anything else our driver could do for her. Perhaps get her a cappuccino?

After that though, Ann began telling our driver about our trip. When he said, “So, this is a spiritual journey,” I interjected from the back seat, “For some of us.” Ann, ignoring me, stayed on message though, talking to him about the importance of St. Patrick and his influence in Ireland in turning people to the Lord.

It didn’t matter that Ann didn’t get to the point of praying the prayer of salvation with him. She was planting seeds. Jesus said:

“For in this case the saying is true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 “I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor.”

John 4:37 (NASB)

And we needn’t stress about whether the seeds are persuasive because it is the Holy Spirit who causes the growth. The Apostle Paul told the Corinthians:

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. 7 So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

I Corinthians 3:6-8 (NASB)

After boarding the ship, I told Ann her conduct was reminiscent of St. Columba’s in that she had followed her instigation of the “Car Seat Affair,” as it has come to be known, with a penitential act of evangelism. Whether she was inspired by the example of St. Columba or the Holy Spirit, only Ann knows, but it was a reminder for all of us of what we are all called to do. GS

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