Speed, distance, time…

One of my offspring recently recounted a hair-raising journey following the directions of sat-nav.
It had sent them by the shortest route, which in this case turned out to be a practically unnavigable track.

It made me reflect on how technology has changed route planning. Destinations are postcodes rather than place names, and routes are revealed at the touch of a screen rather than thumbing through map pages and seeing a network of possibilities.

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Sat nav will automatically send us by the quickest or shortest route. However, if we take the same approach to life and rush along the fast lane, we may miss ‘travelling mercies’. As the African proverb says:

If you want to walk fast, walk alone, if you want to walk far, walk together

When we constantly look to overtake, we distance ourselves from positive connections.
But if we draw alongside others, we will have opportunities to give and receive, and find purpose and meaning in life.

Likewise, when we look for short cuts from difficult situations or a tedious part of life’s journey, we distance ourselves from unexpected blessings.
Sat nav will often use single track roads as short cuts, with disastrous results, yet are we vastly different in our lives?
Having a single-track mind can blind us to possibilities or lead us to assume a right of way, and unless we stop in our tracks, a head on collision may well be around the corner.

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But I believe that just as sat-nav is constantly tracking our progress, so too is God.
Not in a vindictive way, but in clearing the way ahead. Just like sat-nav logs our position when we’ve taken a wrong turn and re-routes us, so too will God.
Sometimes getting lost and arriving somewhere later than expected is called ‘taking the scenic route’, but what we may have lost in time or speed, we will have gained in learning from the distance covered. So let’s be attentive to God’s nudges, and respond with due care and attention.

Truth is… “My thoughts” says the Lord “are not like yours, and my ways are different from yours” Isaiah 55:8

Who to choose…

I had to choose between my partner and the postman last week – and truth is, the postman came first!
But there’s more than what the headline might suggest. It’s a story about the provision of God that encompasses us, if we become aligned and attuned to God’s Spirit.

With the implications of covid-19, my partner and I are at ‘high risk’ so we’ve been in complete isolation for over a month. Our postman’s deliveries have therefore become the highlight of our days. It’s wonderful to be connected to family and friends through the contents of our letter box.

On Thursday evenings in the UK, from the safety of our homes, many of us clap our hands together to applaud the courage and commitment of National Health Service staff and other key workers.
As we applauded on Maundy Thursday, our postman came to mind, and I realised I wanted to give him something to show appreciation of the difference he makes to our daily life.
Being a maker and baker I would ordinarily bake a treat, but with coronavirus in the mix, an alternative was needed.
Fortuitously, I’m a panellist for an organisation evaluating the performance of the UK postal service, and I’d just been sent a little ‘thank you’ gift of mini Easter eggs. As I’ve been unable to go shopping for over a month, I’d intended to give these to my partner as an Easter day surprise, but it suddenly seemed that the postman should be the happy recipient.
It was a hard decision, postman or partner, but choosing the postman felt right.

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Fast forward a few days, and just after sunrise on Easter Sunday, my Hearing Dog alerted me to a doorstep delivery. I got up, opened the door, and discovered that some lovely friends had left a packet of mini Easter eggs. So my partner had Easter eggs after all!

It brought to mind a Postman Pat story that was much loved by one our offspring when she was three.

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The line I recalled was:

“The Lord doth provide.”

Thirty years later, the archaic language amuses me, but blow the dust off, and yes, God does provide if we all have open hands to give.

Truth is…  You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need… (Philippians 4:19)

Weighing it up…

Weights and measures seem to be an integral part of life.
Even before delivery day, babies’ vital statistics are plotted on a graph and from then on, they will be weighed and measured in all sorts of ways, by all sorts of people!

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We live surrounded by numbers and scales that measure our development and worth.
– From school grades as children to work appraisals as employees, our performance is assessed.
And not only is our performance rated, so too is our popularity.
– From the number of party invites a child receives to the number of followers we have on Facebook, we are weighed up and often found wanting.

In an effort to protect her daughter from feeling overlooked, I know of one mother who sent her Valentine’s cards each year. When the teenager later discovered that these hadn’t in fact come from secret admirers, but from her mother, the effect was devastating.
That was well over 40 years ago, so perhaps a yearning to be popular isn’t a 21st century phenomenon!

The numbers game is commonplace, and truth is, I’ve been crunched by numbers recently.
People have asked me “So how many people have signed up to your Blog?”
The answer is, ‘not many’ and at times I’ve wondered if it’s worth continuing.
But then someone tells me that I’m making sense. And that’s the point – it’s not about numbers, it’s about offering a point of connection. That’s what should count.

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As a believer, I get the feeling that it’s not about how many good things I might do that count, but whether I am connecting with God. And that’s not the demand of a selfish god, but the yearning of a Creator who longs for our full potential to be reached!
For me, connecting with God is being open and honest in my heart with the One who urges me to believe that we are loved.
It’s a relief to be counted in a positive way, when our past (or present) tells us otherwise.

We matter so much to God, that we are beyond measure.

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Truth is… ‘You are precious in my sight and I love you’ Isaiah 43:4