Thought for the Month August 2022

A short Summer thought

I hope that many of you will have, or already have had, a Summer Break. We all need time to relax and enjoy ourselves, but also to take stock of our lives. Even Jesus took time out, and as when read, he often went off to a quiet place to pray.

It is not by accident that Jesus said we should call God ‘Our Father.’ In doing so we tend to focus on his all-encompassing love, grace, compassion, forgiveness through Christ……., all of which is absolutely valid. However, do we stop to fully consider the parenthood role of teacher? When a child says ‘will you tie my shoe laces please?’ there comes a time when the wise parent will say ‘let me teach you how to do it, so you can tie them yourself – getting them ready for the big wide world. Of course, we should always be there to help our children, but they have to be able to live their own lives and make their own decision. and it’s our job to nurture and prepare them as best we can. By the same token it’s our children’s job to learn and not simply to rely on Mum or Dad! In writing this I am conscious not all children have the benefit of loving earthly parents, but we do all have a loving Heavenly Father who, when he created us, gave us all we need and set us free into the big wide world to make our own decisions and it’s to this Father I want to turn.

At the risk of sounding trite, how often do we ask God to tie our shoe laces for us, and fail to hear when he says ‘let me show you how to do it for yourself.’ I dread to think how often I’ve asked God to solve a problem for me, when I should have been asking for the strength, wisdom (or whatever may be required) to solve the problem myself, or at least be a part of the solution. Even when I’ve asked what I think is the right question I haven’t always listened for the answer!

In order to listen we have to devote time, which is not always easy. What tends to work for me is my early morning walk, away from the phone, the distraction of jobs that need doing, the temptation of the crossword I want to finish. I try (try being the operative word) to talk to and listen for God. I don’t hear or expect to hear a voice, but I do now expect – and often find – the answers come, not always the ones I expect and sometimes not the ones I want. When asking God with help to solve a problem, it brings you up short when you realise you are sometimes part of the problem.

By doing this in the morning it can and does filter through the rest of the day. The problems won’t always go away but they become much easier to manage.

I heard a lovely saying recently (thank you Frank) ‘The morning holds the essence of the day.’

What’s the essence of your morning?

Steve

A Short Prayer!

Heavenly Father help me in prayer not to talk at you,

But to speak and listen to you.

In Jesus name. Amen.