I don’t know how young I was when I was first disobedient. I am sure that as a baby I showed signs of the disobedience to come – perhaps it was just turning my head away to refuse to eat the food on the spoon in front of me, or perhaps I just refused to do something that I had been told to do. But was that real disobedience, or was it just the case that I didn’t understand the words? As a toddler, I almost certainly refused to do something, even though I fully understood the words. But was that real disobedience, or was it just the case that I didn’t understand the rules? By the time I was at school, I understood both the language and the rules, and I know I was disobedient on many occasions, and punishment followed accordingly.
Christmas Day was a busy one, calling in at our first round of visits at 11 am and leaving the last one at 11 pm. I could say that it was all go, but I would be more accurate if I said it was all eat. By the time Libby and I got home, we were very full and very tired. Boxing Day had an emergency start as we nearly slept in (as we would have loved to do) and we barely made it to church on time. Our church is very lively and, even when I am sitting down, I can’t stop moving in time to the music. The result was that I was very tired by the time I got home. We both were, and we settled down to be truly lazy relaxed.
Things have been critical here for the last two weeks. For some people, the bad weather has placed them in critical situations, lives have been endangered and lost. For me, the situation has not been critical in that sense. In fact, the situation has not been critical for me – I have been critical of the situation. I have criticised the local council for their inability to clear the roads of the snow and ice. Very critical. I have to confess that I have got quite angry about it, and felt that the anger was justified.
During the last week we had a lot of snow (50 cm) where I live. It’s one of these things that is fascinating and beautiful, but then reality bursts in and spoils it all. Everything looks truly stunning, especially when the skies clear and the sun shines, but when you try to walk in snow that deep you discover that it is really difficult. When the snow comes up to your knees every step is a struggle. For the first few days driving was impossible.
Sometimes I feel that we Christians say some things because we say them. I am not saying that we don’t understand what we are saying, or don’t mean what we say. I mean that we say them so often that we lose track of the meaning, or the power of the words becomes detached from them. At its worst, the words become a conversation filler.