Monday, November 28, 2011

28th November

I feel a lot brighter today after a really good night’s sleep. And the weekend was particularly engaging so I feel a lot happier. Then today I feel as though I’ve enjoyed a few good things already. I was too busy yesterday to watch the final Grand Prix of the year, so after avoiding all news channels for 24 hours, I enjoyed a very relaxing lunch break with BBC iPlayer. I’m not overly enamoured with the BBC for selling out F1 to Sky next year though! So I’ve limited my work to a few household chores building strength to get on with decorating through this week. The eternal optimist, that’s me. Anyway first thing this morning I spotted a thief at work in my garden.

Now when I bought this it was labelled as a bird table. Should I complain that they didn’t call it a squirrel table? Maybe not, as a few seconds earlier there were plenty of Coal Tits enjoying my seed and peanut offering. Squirrels may be a little greedy and they’ve certainly damaged my ancient apple tree but they’re such an amusing little animal that you have to like them. I do anyway.

And also this morning I went swimming, completing the usual 20 lengths without any effort whatsoever. Most encouraging. But unfortunately I paid little attention to a fairly large gentleman with an unusual side effect from his particular swimming technique. No splashing as a warning, he simply created a bow wave. And as we passed by one another I happened to have my mouth open and swallowed far too much water… yuck! But did I learn my lesson? A few lengths later the exact same thing happened, which left me with slight indigestion through the afternoon. At least I think it was the pool water but it could have been an overdose of chocolate biscuits after a lunchtime fry up.… either way it’s obviously my own fault for not being careful. Sometimes too much comfort food can leave us rather discomforted can’t it?

Funny how life never works out as we expect it… in 1973 I took a ‘temporary’ job just to enable me to move back to Derby and get married. My previous employment had relocated 30 miles away to Leicester, I didn’t want to live there and commuting after 9 months was becoming tiresome. Somehow, despite numerous attempts to leave, the temporary became permanent. Come 1999 I was most unhappy, seriously stressed with the working conditions and praying continuously for an escape. I got it in the form of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which was certainly a better option than the heart attack I could see coming. Looking back I think I must have been insane to have stayed working there so long, but at the time I just wanted to look after my family. But at least I was able to be at home to look after Jane in her final few years. And neither of us saw her early death coming at all. I just wanted to grow old with a beautiful woman who was also my very best friend, my soul mate… my lovely wife Jane. And now I can’t.

I sometimes wonder if I’ve been robbed. Maybe my own foolishness or lack of bravery to try something new caused my work problems. Maybe I didn’t pray or work hard enough to see Jane healed. Quite possible. But then again we live in a world that is certainly not perfect, and everyone else has comparable problems. I’m not alone in my discomfort for sure. And we learn and grow from making mistakes don’t we? Unless I’m swimming that is. Ultimately though I remain totally convinced that the God of heaven is watching over every tiny detail of my life, and my Bible says that he keeps count of even the number of hairs on our heads. It also says that in this world we will have many troubles. So the real question is… what is our response to the challenge of trouble when it comes our way? Do we trust God? Can we still honour him despite life’s challenge? I intend to, no matter what, but more than that I really am an eternal optimist and put all of my hope in the Lord because he is able… maybe I still have time to find that ‘perfect’ job and reach out to the Lord for healing so that I can do it. And maybe there’s another beautiful woman who’d be patient enough to learn how to be my best friend again. Ok that’d cause complications in heaven but for sure there’d be no squabbling when we all get there! But all I really want to do is honour the Lord and step into whatever he has for me…

Song of Solomon 2:15 ‘Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming! (NLT)

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