‘Those secular things that get in the way’
On one of those cold January mornings when one just wishes one could stay in bed and the rain was battering down I had to get up to take my car for an early MOT. Fiona followed me over but her car developed some electrical problems. We managed to get the car home and were planning to take it to the garage to have it checked. I had a few important emails to send but the computer crashed. For a short time I felt a little irritated. We eventually managed to fix the computer, Fiona’s car was easily sorted and my car sailed through its MOT.
A couple of experiences that same day put what I considered to be important in its proper place. I read in the newspaper that many local people were to be evicted by a landlord who wanted rid of tenants that were on benefits, even those who had never been in arrears. My heart goes out to these people and I felt quite ashamed that I had placed so much importance on my small problems. That night I watched a programme on television about those training for ordination in the wonderful Salvation Army. These people give up everything and once ordained as Minister Officers, live on a very a small stipend and spend most of their time challenging the unjust structures in society. They work with the hungry, the homeless, those forced in prostitution and just about everyone else in distressed circumstances. They directly challenge the area of human trafficking and go where angels fear to tread. I was totally inspired by these wonderful people.
During Advent I asked congregations to consider: ‘How it was between themselves and God?’ A number told me that many secular things get in the way. I had a sense of that with the experiences described above. How do we deal with this? Perhaps we should look at taking just a few minutes each day when it is just between us and God. That is the one thing no one can take away from us: our own personal relationship with God. Spending time with God and lying in the arms of Jesus is what keeps me going in the divine sense, and being inspired by wonderful people such as the Minister Officers in the Salvation Army.
The power of prayer can never be underestimated: “For with God nothing shall be impossible” Luke 1:37.