I have mentioned before I have an electric bike. A “normal” bike is beyond my capacity. However my joy in riding it, is tempered by an overwhelming need to explain myself every time I pass someone I know who knows I have stepped down from being a parish minister. I feel I have to stop and explain my healthy tan is partly not healthy but medication caused, explain it is an electric bike, explain it is much easier than walking, following that up with an explanation of hypersensitivity pneumonitis and its effects and what I can and cannot do because of it. Well, (drum roll and trumpet) I have decided I am not going to stop and explain myself any longer. “Fear of man is a snare.” The Bible tells us that so it shouldn’t surprise us that it is true! It not only stops us from obeying God but even enjoying God. You see, to parody a famous line from a famous film, “God made me, but he also made me sort of slowish, but when I am whizzing along effortlessly on my electric bike, I feel His pleasure!” I enjoy Him enjoying me on my bike which His goodness has provided. Is the fear of man ensnaring you and stopping you enjoying God in some way or another? If it is you have forgotten why you exist. As every Presbyterian knew 2 or 3 generations ago, at least by rote if not by experience, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” I love these first words in answer to the first question of the Shorter Catechism. It soon gets a bit heavier, even though it tells us helpful truth, in what it means by enjoying God! You will not read a mention of enjoying God while on an electric bike, or drinking coffee and reading a book in Starbucks.
These thoughts, along with the previous blog, “It’s raining!”are being written on a day when I feel God has been setting me free from wrong thinking about God, about me, and about other people. Please don’t be offended if I whizz past you without explanation. While I am at it, I changed my car about six months ago. I now have my retirement car, an Alfa Romeo. I may just zoom whizz past you in that too. If I see you looking with the merest hint of disapproval or sense the questioning you may have about that, I will just slip it into “dynamic mode” and zoom past you all the quicker. Perhaps when I do, I will sense not only God’s joy but even His laughter.
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