Most groups of people who work together for any length of time develop their own catch phrases. The title of this piece is one such catch phrase which we have developed here at the Headquarters in Latvia in the last couple of weeks, and which I think will ‘stick’. We have decided that in future the excuse we will give for any task which has not been completed and should have been completed will be, ‘we haven’t managed to do it because the Queen is coming’.
Let me explain; a couple of months ago there was great excitement because the Swedish Embassy in Riga proposed that one of the visits Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden should make on her visit here with her husband, the King, would be to two of our Salvation Army centres. You can imagine, therefore, what life has been like here, especially over the past couple of weeks as we have prepared for her visit. It has been all-consuming and there has been little time to do anything else. It seems that the whole of life has been on hold because ‘the Queen is coming’. Get it?
Now she has been and gone. Every ‘i’ had been dotted and every ‘t’ crossed, and I am proud to say that the absolutely brilliant team here, master-minded by the incredible Iveta, organised the visit in such a way that it went off flawlessly – not even the minutest detail had been overlooked. So, take a bow all of you and accept this very public thank-you.
The planning has included looking with fresh eyes at the building; suddenly clearing up places that have needed clearing for ages, and repairing floors and doors that we’d never quite got around to replacing, noticing the shelf that was full of clutter, and cleaning everything to within an inch of its life. It all suddenly took on a real urgency because – ‘the Queen is coming’.
I couldn’t help thinking about Biblical parallels. It will soon be Palm Sunday, when we will be remembering those who were celebrating the fact that ‘the King is coming’. Then I remembered the series of parables that Jesus told in Matthew 25 about being ready because ‘the King is coming.’ I’ll leave you to reflect further for yourself on the parallels between the coming of the Queen – and the coming of the King of Glory.
…and for those of you who like the detail, I’ll try to write a detailed account of the Queen’s visit in the next day or two.