Posted by: Mad Lamb | 11/10/2012

I knew it would happen…

When I started this blog, I knew it was a tough road ahead. I knew there would be challenges to my faith. Truth be known, I also knew I would crumble…and I did.

The last few weeks have been some of the toughest of my life. The uncertainty of not knowing when/if we would move house was the backdrop. Problems settling into a routine with the medication for my arthritis due to a bad reaction to being in the sun was the incidental music. Meanwhile scenes flashed by ending with a series that seem like a badly scripted sitcom where all the problems arrive in a single episode.

It’s not that I stopped believing in God but I stopped believing that I had any right to an easy passage. I felt unable to pray for these things to stop. I felt I was being punished for having been so relatively lavish in my living until then and not being compassionate to others’ circumstances.

We got access to our property on the day we expected but our removal firm was not going to deliver until the Monday morning. On the day the firm arrived to pick up our stuff, we found out they were going to deliver it on Monday and Tuesday, leaving only one afternoon and evening to start sorting things before I had to go back to work. My husband left to take one car-load to the new house. This is normally a standard 1 hour 40 mins journey. On this day it took 3 hours. This left me in an empty house waiting until he returned. We eventually arrived at my mother-in-law’s house at 11:30pm to stay for the weekend while our belongings were in storage.

By the end of the first week in the house I had returned to work to find there had been been major problems with the system I supported, 200 related emails to sift and the car broke down two days after we moved in. The car’s repair cost was substantial adding to the rapid depletion of our funds since attempting to sell our house in Scotland. It also took over week to get it back. Along the way we managed to disable the locks on the front door so were unable to use it which is still the case to this day.

Throughout these too frequent twists and turns I felt exhausted unable to find the energy to worry about what was going to happen next. However, it felt important to find positives in all this apparent disaster.

Firstly it made us both engage with public transport. While we had both thought about doing so, it was very easy for us to jump in the car to do what we wanted. Even then one of us would have had to bite the bullet in any case. This way both of us needed to do so, so when the car eventually returned that issue had been dispelled.

Our main problem about being without a car was that our cat was in a cattery in Devon to protect him from the ensuing chaos  We made the decision to forego the planned birthday meal to hire a car to collect him. It was good to bring him to his new home and reunite the ‘family’. A better birthday present than excess calories and an expanding waistline.

When the garage was unable to return the car by the end of the week they offered a free courtesy car over the weekend. While it was nice to experience another new car, it didn’t feel right stepping out of such a flashy car when we knew our budget was no pinched. This reassured us that we were not as consumerist as we had thought.

in fact in some ways we felt as if God was reducing the money and ‘things’ we relied on so we turned to Him instead. It was a frightening enough thought when our two salaries were reduced to one so hubby could take up his course. Even with a family gift for two years’ course fees we knew we would have to make savings to find the money for the third. There also seemed to be an endless list of fixes, large and small, needed for the house. So as more and more money dripped, or flooded, out of our accounts, it became very worrying.

In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus says don’t worry about the physical things but seek first the spiritual. That seems perfectly sensible until you have to so. In relative terms we lived fairly simply – no flash car, no hi-tech existence, no expensive overseas holidays and no designer clothes but lived very comfortably within our means.

We are both conscientious about a regular prayer life, sincere about our relationship with God and dedicated to studying the Bible but had we slipped into some sort of complacency? Did we worship God only so we felt good, did we only ask God for help when we had run out of ideas?

In a modern life what are the spiritual priorities? What are the physical necessities? How can we use our resources more for the benefit of others? This is the next adventure and challenge.

*** Stop Press  *** Door fixed yesterday. Surprising how simple things can make you feel better.

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