The rather bizarre reaction to all that then unfolded, a nation taken by surprise in it's grief. For some years afterwards I would visit people on the local estates for the church and it wasn't unusual to find a framed picture of Diana on the mantelpiece; whether as a saint or one of the family it was hard to know.
15 years ago was also my last day of working with students for UCCF. It was a brilliant time, I learnt so much through working there, much of which I still use today. It shaped me for time in church ministry as did the great church that I was a part of and went on to serve. Because 14 years and 364 days ago I started working for a church full-time. More simply, tomorrow is my 15 year anniversary of being paid to work in a church. I may be middle aged but I did a lot of other things first, no bad thing in my book.
Church ministry is a great adventure! Some amazing highs and some serious lows but rarely a dull moment. Actually some dull moments would be nice; just occasionally. It's amazing that we're allowed to do this, we who are fallible, flawed, but forgiven. I regularly marvel that God uses me to lead a church but then he has previous history on this, in the Old Testament he spoke through a donkey. Despite the occasional escape fantasy, I really can't think of anything I'd rather do.
15 years in, what really matters is the next 15 years. I am grateful that I don't know what lies ahead, but in the words of Paul in Philippians 3, "one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal."