Thursday, September 08, 2011

8th September

Here we go again, another trip down memory lane. And now I’m remembering the beginning of a walk across the Yorkshire Moors, with all four of my much younger children still living with us and on holiday together. We didn’t get more than a few hundred yards along the bridleway before my youngest daughter and I both decided that was quite far enough and we hurried back to the car. And this evening I had the exact same experience, except I was minding my own business sat indoors, working playing on my laptop. Of course I’m talking about bee stings, and this time all I did was brush my hand against a slight tickle on my neck… but it was most confusing, as well as a little painful for a few minutes, whilst I tried to understand why there was a shooting pain in my thumb. I suppose I must have collected it on my walk through the woods this afternoon, but it was a tiny little thing… made even smaller after I whacked it with my shoe!

Whilst that kind of surprise is not exactly welcome I do generally enjoy the spontaneity of more favourable surprises. And there have been many over the years. But the best for me have always been when new people came into my life, especially those who become special friends. Jane was like that from the day I first went out with her, we got along wonderfully. And although neither of us was a committed believer the main topic of our first conversations was about the existence of God. But it took a further 11 years before we did anything about it and started going to church. I have four children and have also been surprised by every one of them on many occasions. Watching your kids grow and develop into caring sensitive adults with quite different personalities is such a special privilege. I’m not quite sure how it happened as it’s certainly a surprise to me when I consider that, at least in some small way, I had something to do with how they turned out.

The biggest surprise of my life though was the day I met God. I’d sort of considered that church was basically just a safe and quite healthy social group and I enjoyed it a lot through my teens. It also provided a moral foundation to my education, certainly compared with what was happening elsewhere in the 1960’s. But basically I could see no evidence of the certain existence of God. So I decided that if God did exist, one day he would reveal himself to me, and in the mean time I could do nothing about it so I just got on with life and ignored the problem… and God. And that wasn’t really a good idea as before long I stopped attending church completely. But when I started going again, many years later, it only took the Lord 6 weeks to reveal himself to me. And all the lights came on… I understood what it truly meant to be a Christian and boy was that a surprise.

Luke 24:31 ‘Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him.’ (NLT)

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