Thursday, 23 January 2014

Potholes as far as the eye can see

Riding a motorcycle in this day and age is a dangerous occupation, it used to be you had to look out for  other road users (you still do by the way) but a bigger more silent menace lurks on our roads, POTHOLES, THEY ARE EVERYWHERE AND BREEDING LIKE A BUNCH OF RABBITS AT AN ORGY. The roads have had to put up with a lot in the last 3 months especially rain washing out repaired holes and making new ones in the wake of the deluges we have had. We had a meeting just before Christmas with a lovely lady from our local highways department, she explained to s how they deal with potholes, how they are categorised and the amount of money they have to repair the entire road network in Devon. At present they have over 600 million worth of repairs to do, on a budget of 66 million, so its obvious they are on a loosing wicket to deal with it all. Potholes are a pain in the neck, this week my wife hit one on the bike and it was such a powerful hit, it shook the battery loose and cut out all power to the bike, she was fine. Ian Norton and myself had to go and rescue and get the bike working again so she could get home.

This brings us to the potholes of life, we all get them, they creep up slowly and then BANG they hit you when you least expect it and can throw you off what you are doing. It can be a situation that starts as a little bit of loose talk or thinking, then as the wear and tear starts we end up with a hole in our pathway and no real idea on what to do about it. The highways department patch a lot of holes because it's apparently cost effective, we have no option in our lives but to deal with the potholes correctly first time, we need to sort them out, if we don't they will keep derailing us time and time again. So what do we do with these potholes of life, simply put if they are holding us back or throwing us off our path we need to fill them in. It maybe something you said or someone said to you which keeps cropping up and causing resentment, fill the hole in, it maybe a habit that is out of control, fill it in, in fact the pothole can be anything that causes you grief in any form. Filling them in requires work, just like the highways department, so we need to work at sorting out the debris, cleaning out the rubbish, so a new filling can get put into place, which will hold and not rot out again. Many people i know are carrying around lots of grudges and heartache, they are holding onto the pothole because they have become used to it and feel they know how it's going to catch them out. In some cases this is true. We have a  pothole at the end of our road, it's big enough to see and i ride or drive over it everyday, avoiding it if i'm able to do so. But every now and then it catches me by surprise, normally when i'm not think ing about it. We all have them in our lives people, time to let them go, fill them in and get a relatively smooth pathway in front of us. These potholes can be hurt, they can be hard to let go of, but letting go and filling them in is the right thing to do. It amazes me that as adults we tell Children that they should forgive and forget, let it go, it's not worth it. But we are guilty of a double standard, because we hold onto things when we really should be letting go. You will know what your potholes are, but they need to be repaired so life can go on smoothly.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Forgiveness and reconciliation

Last night Sunday 5th i had the joy of leading worship at my home church and we looked at forgiveness and reconciliation. It's something which has been playing on my mind for a few months now as i have noticed i have got a real low tolerance for idiots and thats the way it goes. Now as i'm not a note user i'm going to try and get the points down from it and hopefully it will help someone out.

Forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation, forgiveness is the act of pardon for wrong done. Reconciliation is the renewal of broken bridges or relationships, they differ but can be intertwined but not necessarily so, in fact you can forgive but not reconcile to the situation in hand, logically if you forgive then reconciliation should follow. But being human and holding grudges is a by product of us being hurt, when we hurt we want the offender to hurt as well, we say we don't but we do and we need to be honest about this. Forgiving someone is an act of our will, we have to mean it when we say we do, we have to live it and most importantly we need to learn to let go of the hurt and problem. For some of us that is hard, we want our case heard we want some form of justice or is it revenge we want. Also we often want our own way and this is where part of the problem comes. As Christians we are called to act like Christ, we are called to surrender to him and his will, for some of us thats harder to do than to say, but it's time to stop paying lip service to the idea of forgiving and letting go, we can really only do it with Gods help if we claim Christ as our own. We need to understand that carrying around the baggage we have causes us pain and heartache at some stage in our lives. Some Christians i know have been carrying hurt around for an age and it's affected their faith, their understanding of God, and invariably God gets blamed for an act of human interference and it just runs around in an ever decreasing circle, it's time to let it go.

Reconciliation is the process of rebuilding in Corinthians Paul says we have the ministry of reconciliation, we are called to reconcile as God reconciled us to himself by the death of Jesus on the cross and his ressurection, we are called to reconcile as we have been reconciled. It's hard and will not always be easy, but it's something we do need to get to grips with. Reconciliation is a hard path but a worthwhile one, it requires grace which we tend to lack when we are hurting or have been hurt. Ironically most of us believe the problem is the other persons and ignore our own part in why relations have broken down, we ignore our attitude, our words, our efforts, because obviously we are right how could i/we be wrong. If you are carrying baggage, if you are hurting instead of your ego taking over, instead of making it everyone else's problem, actually own it and deal with it. As we stand at the start of a new year it is time for us to wake up, leave the past behind we can't change it, but we can change our attitude to it and move forward into a better future. We have to decide in very real and logical terms, am i happy to carry this around for another period of time, which some are because the hurt goes deep and ego kicks in (personal perpendicular pronounitis) we become fairly stubborn, and just won't let it go. One thing which we will need to do is surrender to God, we will need to take a bigger picture, because as much as we don't like to admit it we put God into a box, and he will operate in that box and it has to be right because we understand it, but God does not need your understanding he needs you as you are broken, whole, hurting, joyful and ready to do business with him. The kingdom is all important, it's the kingdom we want to see come, it's the kingdom we live in. It's time to show people grace and reconciliation in action, it's time to deal with whats holding you back and move forward. What are you gonna do about it.