Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Under The Surface

It’s always a good idea to take a second look and work out what is really going on. Yeah, first impressions can barely scratch the surface when we first meet people. So here’s my beautiful granddaughter outside Buckingham Palace on our outing a few weeks ago. Cheeky little smile for Grandad isn't it… and for the sake of completeness, here’s her ‘ I'm having fun’ younger sister.

So what have we got then? I guess for those of you who have no relationship with my family all you get out of these snaps is ‘OK, cute kids in Dave’s life… that’s nice!’ And of course that’s exactly what I see, though of course I see a whole lot more as well. I first met them a few hours after each one was born, and pretty much have visited every week since. So in 12 years that’s quite a few Christmas and birthday parties, not a few camping holidays, plenty of chocolate bars and more than just an occasional tall story. In the last week I’ve learnt all about prisms and a dictionary definition of ‘impetuous’ whilst child minding. I set them on Kleenex duty looking after weepy adults after Jane passed away, gave them extra pocket money to clean my house in the summer holidays and listened very carefully to the story of One Direction’s connection with Derby City… still don’t understand that one! These kids have won my heart, I’d do anything for them!

I have another particularly special person in my life today, though for maybe half my life I basically ignored him. I’m talking about Jesus Christ of course. Yeah, I went to church all through my teenage years, a great church. But all I saw was a fun time, in a relatively safe and moral environment. I used to love all night table tennis, snoozing on the church floor for sleepovers, decorating the hall for discos and pretending I was DJ John Peel! I learnt to play guitar in a genuine 60’s rock group and… kissed a few girls as a forfeit in the ‘take a bite out of a bobbing apple game!’ I always seemed to lose when playing the equally dated ‘flour game’ though… that’s the one where you make a flour ‘sand’ castle with a sweet on the top, slices are cut to trim the thing and when the sweet falls guess who has to bury their head in the flour to eat it? All wonderful harmless fun in a very innocent time of my life, but absolutely nothing that happened led me to a faith decision. Church was simply a great moral social club for me. Ok, some of the older lads taught me how to drink beer, not ideal in a Methodist Church, and eventually I learnt how to kiss a girl away from the crowd. But that’s part of growing up as a child of the 60’s I guess… rather innocent by today’s standards I suspect.

So back to my faith story. Do I know God by just accepting a belief system, engaging with a religious organisation, and stirring up personal determination to live ‘right’… whatever that means? Nope, for me none of that comes even close to being enough. I met the Lord at a point of spiritual awakening, I know God as a personal Saviour, as close a friend as a friend can be, the reality of his existence is tangible, the relationship intimate. And all these other things quite simply follow on from that starting point. My Lord is far more than an image on a stained glass window, an atmosphere in a cathedral or an emotion stirred by great music. He has won my heart and I would do anything for him!

Psalm 18:1
A psalm of David, the servant of the Lord. He sang this song to the Lord on the day the Lord rescued him from all his enemies and from Saul. He sang:
I love you, Lord’

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