Prayer, Praise and Reality

So there I was, struggling up the slopes that appeared to me on my bike to be mini Matterhorn’s, just to reduce the fat lump of lard that comprises my beer belly.  To be honest there is more pasta and chips in there than beer, a left over from the time I stopped running around and sat down all day but kept eating as if the work was physical!  The media call it ‘obese’ but my doctor said it was not there yet, I was in his words, “Just a fat slob.”  This is reassuring.

Hundreds of miles up the road (well two) I turned round and began the descent via the old rail line.  One of the great idea of recent times has been the regeneration of defunct rail lines but turning them into country walks.  This one is much used and suffers little from litter and vandalism.  The Rangers team do well in maintaining it as a place to spend a short time with nature.  Cycling down the hill when nobody bar the occasional dog walker is excellent.  I tend to glide slowly listening out for the birds and watching the squirrels drop objects on me from the trees high above as I pass.  This time I thought I was praying.  I say thought, but I wonder if I was?  I began at the far end and considered I was doing all right, no-one being around I was free to enjoy the trees and fields and so on and pray happily.  Two thirds of the way down there came to my mind the song ‘ Jesus we adore you, we proclaim you our king.’  A song I always liked and meant much to the church in the mid eighties.  I continued happily, in spite of the rain pretending I was back amongst Edinburgh’s usual downpours.

Back in civilisation, I knew it was that by the plastic bottles and crisp packets that lay in the streets, I made my way homewards.  Then reality set in.  As I came onto the main road I remembered a woman I once worked with who lived along here.  A sour faced bint who never smiled in all the time I knew her.  Once or twice our paths crossed and I could imagine what she might say if I saw her again.  Suddenly I found myself mentally telling her what I thought of her, and in a ‘full and frank’ manner at that.  I lashed out with all the horrid depth of my being, as you do.  As I dawdled home I wondered what on earth happened there?  It is not as if she actually crossed my path, it was a mere thought that suddenly got out of control!  Prayer, praise?  Aye right!How often do I realise that there is no point in such things if I am not living it?  I hear of ‘revivals’ and ‘outpourings of the Holy Spirit’ and wish it would happen to me.  However there is no point if I cannot ‘Love my neighbour, or my enemy.’  There is no point in being ‘filled with the Spirit’ if my heart is rotten.

It is reality that will show Jesus life, not praise, prayer or works. Reality hides nothing.


1 comment so far

  1. King's Kid on


    That is God’s way of revealing to us that if we do not have His word living inside of us, reminding us of His will, we will spiral into another spirit: Luke 9:54-56

    54And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? 55But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 56For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

    So do not put yourself down too hard. We all go there, and we all need the reminder “What manner of spirit are you of?” Just remember to cast those thoughts down and put them under subjection.


    P.S. It was still funny, had me laughing out loud at work. Thanks for the smiles, as usual.

    Proverbs 17:22
    A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

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