Wednesday, May 30, 2012

30th May 2012

 I'm back in Allestree, remembering my holiday…
My reason for visiting Deal was firstly to do business with God, on the anniversary of my wife’s death; and secondly to enjoy my retreat from everyday concerns. At the pier entrance is this great sculpture of a fisherman grappling with some enormous fish. It’s called Embracing the Sea and created by Jon Buck. For some unfathomable reason it reminded me of Jacob and the Angel, an alabaster sculpture in the Tate Britain; and then a consideration of my own struggle to do business with the Lord this past week. I’ve decided that before battling in prayer with God the initial hurdle of actually starting to pray is where I most often fall down. Am I the only one who finds getting down to prolonged prayer really, really difficult? Overcoming my own distractions, tiredness, wrong priorities and all the rest of it is a major challenge.

I had a great walk along the cliffs to the South Foreland Lighthouse and that reminds me that Jesus is the ‘Light of the World’. For sure I needed to meet with him and he has opened my eyes to see a way forward as I begin to progress beyond my journey through bereavement.

In some ways this may be a rather plain view, across the beach and out to sea, but nonetheless it is my favourite. I just love to sit and think in a place like this, with absolutely no distractions. Call me odd, but I once bought a cd of a recording of the surf on this actual shingle beach. Ostensibly to help me sleep when dealing with tinnitus, I simply find it quite therapeutic.

And this has to be my number one favourite location for blog writing/posting. It’s within a few hundred yards of a cell-phone tower, so pretty much 3g data connection guaranteed as I sit in my home from home motorhome! For creative inspiration there’s the glorious Dover Castle in one direction, a walk along the cliffs in the other, and behind my van is a most wonderful view across the English Channel… 

I’m not sure if my camera really does justice to this glimpse of France, it sure doesn’t look very far away at all though. And it’s as though the world, the whole world is really within a stone’s throw… hey one short ferry ride, then ignoring visas and the circumvention of trouble spots, I could be driving all the way to China!

Family tradition insists upon a walk along the pier, though at one time that also encompassed breakfast after an early morning car journey. But I can’t imagine eating out on my own, it’s just no fun. Deal is always so very sunny as well…

I was woken around 4am one morning with numerous fog horns sounding within a few miles of my campsite. I felt a little bleary eyed all day. There’s no escaping nature and no matter the closeness of our walk with God there’s certainly no guarantee of immunity from any of life’s great challenges.

But no matter the barren rockiness of our journey through life the Lord always reveals his beauty. Yes flowers such as these are pretty much scattered all along the shoreline.

Hosea 12:3-4 ‘Even in the womb, Jacob struggled with his brother; when he became a man, he even fought with God.  Yes, he wrestled with the angel and won. He wept and pleaded for a blessing from him. There at Bethel he met God face to face, and God spoke to him’ (NLT)

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