Many years ago I had a very sore back. It would come and go every few months. First one side would hurt and, just as it was getting better, then the other side would start to hurt. I have a very vivid memory of John Glass preaching one Sunday in Kilsyth. He asked the congregation…
Last week at Celebrate Recovery, one of the guys said something which was interesting, alarming and funny, all at the one time, but I think “alarming” is the right description.
For the sake of confidentiality, I shall call him Dave, but his real name is Steve. No it’s not, that was a joke – his real name is Charlie. No it’s not!
We are getting to the stage in the programme where we start making a moral inventory. We look at the things in our lives that have had a major impact on us: things that we have done, things that have been done to us. They are the stuff that have built our hurts, hang-ups and habits. As we deal with them one at a time, we reduce the influence they have or have had in our lives. As we reduce their influence, we reduce their impact on us and their control over us.
One lazy Sunday afternoon, a father was dozing on the sofa. His wee girl shook him awake, “Daddy, I’m bored!” He looked around for something to do, and noticed that the Sunday newspaper had a photo of a map of the world. He showed her the picture, then tore it into pieces, and told her to put the world back together again. Since she was too young to know where all the countries were, he thought the rest of the afternoon was his to doze in.
A few minutes later she shook him again. “I’m finished, Daddy!”
“You can’t be!”, but when he looked he saw that the world had indeed been put back together. “How did you do that? You didn’t know where all the countries are!”
“Well,” she said, “there was a picture of a person on the other side, and when I got my person back together, the world got back together too.”
We are like that. Too often our lives get ripped to bits. Our person is in pieces, and because our lives are in pieces, our world is too.
I have blogged a couple of times on the subject of fear (Fear is the Key and Fearful Delight) and the subject keeps coming up in my reading. It’s hardly surprising – I did a quick scan of the concordance and the word appears in well over 200 passages. That is not to mention all the similes and adjectives associated with it. It’s not just the Bible either. Fear is a big element in our society – Google the word, and you get 146 million results!
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.