Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

The Thirteenth Psalm

Posted: January 19, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

hamster1

How long, O Lord, will this jaw ache?
How long, O Lord, will you ignore me as it keeps me awake?
How long must I wait? How many operations will it take?
How long shall my enemy pursue me, and my life seem so totally pointless and ‘on-hold’?

O God, show up! Come to my aid and help me;
Give me hope, increase my faith; surround me with your love and the strength to face another day.

Don’t let my enemy say: “I have won! She’s so useless; such a failure and pathetic!”
Neither let him celebrate as I languish here in pain, taunting me with those words again – “you’re the one that never made it”.

But in spite of all this, I choose to trust in you Jesus;
whilst somewhat uncertain and afraid, I place my hand in yours.
I will sing to you, even though it hurts my jaw; for you have provided me with wheat bags, codeine, a comfortable pillow, and a beautiful niece who has brought Hammy Hamster over for the weekend, and for that I give you thanks!

pic-keyvisual-02

Having lived near to Alton Towers for the majority of my life I’ve been ‘fortunate’ enough to visit the theme park on an annual basis (sometimes more regularly). I guess there are three main reasons why I don’t go more often:

  1. the entry cost, which currently stands at £46.20 (although, if you book in advance it’s ‘cheaper’)
  2. I’m waiting for an operation on my jaw – therefore going at high speeds on a roller coaster is probably NOT recommended!
  3. if you go somewhere like that too often it becomes too familiar and actually rather boring. As a result, I get excited whenever I hear that they are in the process of developing a ‘new’ ride.

I was therefore really pleased to hear that in May we will see the arrival of ‘The Smiler’. (If the truth be told, I haven’t been this excited since the opening of ‘th13teen’ in 2010). Costing around £18 million and taking over a year to complete, ‘The Smiler’ is supposedly the first of its kind in the world as it combines the intense physical effects of plunging drops and turns, with five psychological mind manipulations: The Inoculator, The Tickler, The Flasher, The Giggler and The Hypnotiser – each designed to disorient and mislead it’s passengers.

According to Alton Towers: “This ride will put not just your body but also your mind through its paces… We want people to get off the ride and not know what is real. There are five different mind effects, which are all designed to mess with your head. You shoot towards giant syringes, spinning hypnotic wheels, and flashing lights, among other things.”

When I first read this, I thought it was actually describing my time at theological college! I’ve got to admit that even I was left smiling – it sounded hilarious! Having said this, the more I’ve thought about it the more horrendous it seems. I mean – “We want people to get off the ride and not know what is real” – WHAT??!! What is even scarier, is that the woman depicted on their current advertising is clearly terrified, and yet appears to now have a permanent grin stuck to her face.

Whenever I think about roller coasters I can’t help but think of Ronan Keating’s song: ‘Life is a roller coaster, just gotta ride it’. Whilst I’m not yet sure whether I will ever ride ‘The Smiler’ or not, life certainly is a roller coaster, with many ups, downs, twists and turns along the way. People often think that because I’m a Christian that my life is all rosy and that I’m somehow immune from difficulties that life can bring – this is anything but true. I guess the difference though is in knowing that I have Jesus there alongside me – and boy what a difference that can make!

Whilst my experience at theological college has similarities to that of ‘The Smiler’ – it has at times left me anything but ‘smiling’. It’s been a long, hard, uphill slog. It’s ‘taken my body and mind through it’s paces’ and has been like nothing I’ve EVER experienced before. Whilst it’s not quite what I was expecting, through it my faith in Jesus has been challenged and stretched, and I’ve discovered depths of my character that I never thought existed. I’ve also had the privilege of being taught by some outstanding lecturers, as well getting to know others – some for whom it’s a privilege to call ‘friends’  – they never give up on me, they make me smile when I don’t feel I can, and they make life so much better purely by being in it.

According to Alton Towers, ‘The Smiler’ will ‘turn you into a smiling advocate’ – oh, if only ‘The Smiler’ had existed 2-3 years ago, life could have been so very different! Having said that… – do I actually want to walk around like the woman pictured above? Erm… probably not!

robin who?

Posted: April 6, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

robin-van-persie

Today I saw Robin.

Robin? …Robin who?

Robin Williams? … Robin Gibb? … Robin van Persie? … Robin Hood?

No. It wasn’t any of the above, as they are either way too famous, or are dead (in some cases both!) The only way I’d get anywhere near to catching a glimpse of them would be via the pages of a glossy magazine, a film, or on a football field, and since I rarely go to football matches or have money to waste on magazines, then I would have to resort to a film – failing that, there’s always ‘google images!’

This wasn’t a famous robin though, and I wasn’t surfing the internet at the time. Instead I was sat at the bottom of the garden painting the shed on what was probably the warmest day of the year so far.

Both seeing the robin, as well as the warmth of the sun on my neck made me realise that Spring had arrived at last! It got me thinking about new life, and hope, goodness and so on. This lasted for all of five minutes, until the fear, apathy and hopelessness kicked in once more.

It got me thinking about the Bible and the amount of times that Jesus talks about ‘robin’. “No, no, NO!” I hear you say, “Jesus NEVER mentions robin – sparrows, yes – robins, no!”

BUT… if you take a closer look, Jesus actually talks a lot about ‘robin’ – or rather ‘robbing’. He talks about a thief who comes to rob, and kill and destroy. A thief who comes to steal our peace, our joy, our hope, our confidence, and so on. A thief whose main aim is to rob us of all of the good ‘stuff’ that’s rightfully ours in Christ.

Jesus of course is not the thief – far from it! Jesus comes to bring life and health, healing and hope. However, we live in a broken and shattered world. We live in ‘the now and the not yet’. Whilst we see glimpses of the Kingdom, we cannot see it fully.

In all honesty, I find this immensely frustrating, yet at the same time I’d rather have had five minutes of hope, and peace, and joy today, than to have not experienced it at all. I also discovered that Robin van Persie is actually rather good looking – why had I never noticed this before?!!