Posted by: Mad Lamb | 30/01/2013

Faith update

Despite best intentions, still a gap between posts. My first defence is that we lost internet access at home for over a week. Still as said previously better late than never…

Some of the thoughts I’ve had over the last two weeks…

Forcing God’s hand?
John 2 – In Cana where Jesus turned water into wine despite declaring it wasn’t his time…
Was his hand forced by his mother? Can we force the hand of God? Are there consequences?

Sharing your story.
What is it from our experience of discovering God (or being discovered by God) can we use to help others do the same?

With whom do we withhold?
Aware that Barnabus supported Saul/Paul in his early ministry and yet we hear very little about Barnabus in sermons but plenty about the impact of Paul. So what actions or people do we dismiss when considering who to share the story of our relationship with God? What wonders could they go on to do for God?

Rushed and Tired
How do we make room for God and exercise? Why do other things seem more important? is it just a case we don’t focus on what’s important?

Faith – what we cannot see?
Hebrews reminds us that Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 1:1)
How sure are we? How certain? We often use the phrase ‘hope’ as if it has no certainty – is our faith a vain ‘hope’ or a certain one?

Faith in exercise
At the weekend, a discussion in church prompted me to remember about exercises for my back.
The arthritis in my knees, ankles, wrists and elbows had eliminated plans for general exercise and the inability to kneel had avoided the back stretches prescribed by a physiotherapist. However sitting for long periods in the day – on trains and my work at computers – has brought on the stiffness in my back again. As I thought how essential those few important stretches had been to resolve back problems experienced for a large number of years I began to wonder how often I had ignored stiffness in my faith and interaction with others.

Travelling by public transport has launched me into a world of interacting with strangers on a regular basis. Yesterday I had to stifle anger at someone who worked their way in front of me to leave the train. Thankfully I quicky realised there was no rush to get off and didn’t react verbally as I would normally – I just moved to another exit. Today I’m aware of a similar simmering anger at the fellow train passenger who sat at the table I had ‘secured’ I normally do. More so as he didn’t acknowledge me and then proceeded to take over the majority of the table with a paper and food, with much munching, while I perched my laptop on the edge of the table.

Again, thankfully I was able to resist the temptation to react badly against my adversary but as I drew out my Bible notes and activated the e-reader on my phone, I was prompted to wonder why anger is the first emotion to cross my being rather than elation at the possibility of sharing a small part of my faith with them. What has caused me to be so fiercely defensive of my perceived private zone in a public space? How easily my ‘spirituality’ can be squashed by my underlying human nature. Perhaps I need to learn to exercise a bit more grace in my life!

If you have any comments on these reflections, I’d love to hear them.

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Responses

  1. Thanks for your thoughts Elaine. I really appreciate them. I don’t think you should be too hard on yourself however. While aiming for grace and kindness, you need to extend that to yourself too. After all, you’ve been through quite a stressful time recently.
    I share your desire to be kinder though. As I get older I find the temptation to react with anger comes more often, and I don’t like it either.
    Am trying hard not to become a grumpy old woman, but like you, need God’s grace desperately 🙂 xxx

  2. Hi Deborah,

    I’m not hard on myself but sometimes shocked at the reaction I have to events when in other circumstances I would be more controlled. I’m aware from previous musing about how we interact with others. We often put more effort and time into communications in proportion to how much we want to invest in a particular relationship or those we find easy to relate to. We will be more tolerable of close friends and family or more polite to those in authority.

    However, I’m also aware that those we find more difficult to relate to are often those we need to spend more time with. This way we get beyond the perceived barriers to the real person behind it.

    In light of this reflection I perhaps need to put more effort into communicating with my follow travellers, even if they do get too close!

    Many blessings, Elaine


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