I attended the Speech from the Throne in Victoria today as the guest of a local MLA/Cabinet Minister who is a friend of the ministry. I arrived in plenty of time to people watch, chit chat with those who were sitting around me and just get the feel of the place. I noticed my MLA friend come out onto the floor about 10 minutes before things were to begin. He greeted a few people and then began to scan the public galleries greeting a few people he recognized. When he looked my way, I waved and smiled to catch his attention hoping that he would see me up in the "cheap seats". Upon recognizing me, he motioned for me to come down to the main floor and meet him at the door to the Chamber. When I arrived, he introduced me to the Sergeant at Arms who explained that the minister that had agreed to open the session in prayer had cancelled and could I/would I be willing to open in prayer. When I agreed (which took all of about .5 seconds, I was wisked to the Speaker's office (who is a Christian...) and was asked again if I would be willing to serve in this way. Again, I told him I would and he directed me to go with the Sergeant where I was led through the door behind the Speaker's throne and shown my seat where I was to wait until I was called upon to pray. After that he asked if I'd like to see their prayer book or just pray one of my one. I looked at the book and opted to pray my own... :-)
I spent most of the speech just trying to get my head around what had just happened... I'm going back next week for the Budget speech. As I was walking to the Speaker's office, my MLA friend turned to me and said "we know who's really in charge here don't we Tim!" He was as excited as I was!!
I have to tell you that I am absolutely amazed at how God orders our lives and our days. I had absolutely no expectation to do anything more than attend the speech and perhaps have a moment to visit with my friend. God had set up an entirely different day that allowed me to meet virtually every Cabinet minister in the province and to publicly intercede for the MLA's and ask His blessing on this session. I was even on TV! (Okay, it was BC Leg TV and only political junkies watch it, but still it was pretty amazing!)
Catch you later.Tim