Wednesday, February 29, 2012

29th February 2012

So what have we got here? Made me think of a Jackson Pollock, if you sort of close one eye and squint sideways… he was an abstract expressionist painter around sixty years ago. But of course my photo has nothing whatsoever to do with that somewhat troubled character and yes I ventured out into the countryside today, for the first time in a week or so. And found peace once again as I walked with God. I’m so very dependent upon the Lord at the moment, and even though I know he’s with me at all times and everywhere I go, there’s still something so very special about setting aside exclusive time to spend with him. That works best for me when I walk alone, which is something I’ve done in different ways for years and years. I remember decades ago, every time I travelled to work I would take time out to walk around Derby Arboretum just to pray. I had many revelations over the years walking around what is claimed to be England’s first public park. But it feels strange just thinking about all that now as it’s sited in an inner city area with a somewhat challenging reputation. Prostitutes would parade up and down one of the perimeter roads and muggings were not that uncommon on the park. It was not that unusual for me to walk around with up to £1000 of cash in connection with my insurance work but I never ever got troubled by anyone. Not there anyway, though I’ve had a few escapades elsewhere with so-called clients. One guy booked an appointment at my office and I called at his home to do business with himself and girlfriend. All quite normal. He asked for a repeat visit the following week and then he suddenly produced a photo of himself, wearing army fatigues and carrying an automatic weapon. He told the story of fighting as a mercenary in Bosnia. And then he went a bit wild, pushing me around and making unjustified demands… somehow I remained totally at peace and calmed the situation down before simply walking back out to my car. I think I must have been crazy… or confident in my God. I stayed away from the park once the sun set though! And never went near that guy’s house either! But there were others just a crazy, there always are aren’t there?

It’s not just Jackson Pollock who lived a troubled life. Despite his artistic genius, and accompanying fame, he suffered notoriety as a somewhat volatile character struggling with alcoholism. In some ways I guess we all have a fight with the demonic at different points in life. Some might reach out to alcohol to escape inner torment; others turn to drugs or sexual promiscuity for a quick fix. And no matter our inner peace, in greater or smaller measure we all live with the difficulties that this world puts across our path. The real question is how to deal with them. Do we turn to what is plainly wrongdoing with excess, illegality or immorality? Or do we turn to the Lord to life a life that pleases him and grants a peace beyond compare. I trust God, no matter the twists and turns of life that we all face.

In the centre of my picture is a bird’s nest. A little home for a wild creature built in a fairly challenging environment. I sometimes wonder about that very first twig they have to position when beginning to build. How many times does it simply fall to the ground before being woven securely into place? I remain determined to press on with rebuilding my own life. Maybe I’ve already got the first twig of my new ‘nest’ in place by simply living with Godly hope. For sure there’s a long way to go yet, before I feel at home with my new circumstances. But I will persevere.

As will my dad. I took him to hospital early this morning. He didn’t want to go and I don’t blame him. Unfortunately he was only there for an hour or so before being told the whole operation list for the day had been cancelled. No idea why but maybe the surgeon rang in sick or something, who knows. Anyway he’s rebooked for 8am tomorrow with a firm ‘guarantee’ that it will proceed. I need to remember to reset my alarm for that one!

John 10:10 ‘The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.’ (NLT)

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