I was out on my recently acquired electric bike today. I love it! My previous bike was proving too much for my lungs. With this one I can overtake Lycra clad exhausted riders and runners without expending very much energy at all. It is particularly delicious to glide past them on hills, without a bead of perspiration on my forehead! This thing can fair whiz along! Sometimes its speed catches me out. I have nearly ended up in the canal once or twice. However, I am getting the hang of it now.
I am faced with the choice of writing about a couple of reactions to me on my bike. The first reaction I could write a blog about was from a lady I passed who could not hear my friendly but persistent bicycle bell, as her ears were stuffed with earphones and her IPod was turned up loud. When I rode past, well my next fifty or a hundred yards were accompanied by her rather choice language! I could blog about that. In fact it would make a very good black and foreboding Presbyterian blog, full or warning abut the danger of being deaf to what we really need to hear. Well, true as that may be, that guilt inducing blog can wait; there are enough of them around…
It is rather another reaction to my bike that is uppermost in my mind. I passed a man who was really struggling on his bike. As I went past and he heard the gentle hum of my bike motor, he said, “That’s cheating!” I could not be bothered dismounting my bike to dismount him from his own bike to talk to him about the ins and outs of Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis and how it was just envy on his part because he wanted an electric bike himself, but I started thinking about his comment. It is a sort of Scottish way of thinking that anything that makes a task easier must be frowned upon! There is a sort of strain of thought in Scottish spirituality that exalts what is hard, and difficult as being more likely to be the right thing for us, the will of God for us, and conversely encourages us to push away anything that might make for a pleasanter or easier life journey at any particular moment.
I just felt quite strongly as though there are some who will read this blog who need to hear from the Lord, “Don’t be afraid to receive what will help you.” It might be the offer of a financial gift that you feel bad about accepting; it might be that you are reluctant to start a course of medication, especially if it is medication for depression or anxiety; it may be an offer of practical help from someone, an offer that you feel like rejecting as you don’t want to be an inconvenience; it may be that you need a holiday, that you know a holiday would really help you and you saw one in a travel agent’s window today but immediately felt you should not be spending money on yourself in a world where many have a lot less than you.
God the Holy Spirit amongst other blessings, wants to be your Helper, to help you carry whatever it is you may be struggling with. There is a verse in the Old Testament that says, “The Spirit of the Lord clothed Himself with Gideon.” Don’t push away The Helper today because of the clothes with which or with whom He has chosen to clothe Himself in order to draw near to you and bless you.
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