I have had pot holes on my mind for some time now, in fact over a year. What brought pot holes back to mind recently was a road I travelled on during a recent holiday. The single lane road had a particularly deep pot hole, which obviously needed to be avoided. This jogging of the memory brought me back to the title of an article I was thinking of writing; it was to be called “Bad Posture and Pot Holes”.
It was while walking along a road last winter I noticed there where a lot of pot holes in the road. I realised the reason I was seeing them was because of my bad posture, something my mother and father had warned me of constantly when I was young. My bad posture means that I constantly look downwards, about three foot in front of me. What fills my vision, pot holes! I made an effort to correct my posture; lo and behold I saw the whole road ahead of me. It put the pot holes into context: pot holes there were, but the road was bigger than the pot holes – the new vision put the pot holes into perspective.
R H Tawney, the English economic historian and social critic once wrote that the English “…are more interested in the state of the roads than their place on the map”. This phrase resonates with my preoccupation with pot holes, a preoccupation that stops me from seeing the bigger picture.
Christians can also get caught up with pot holes, or the state of the road, so much so that they stop seeing the road ahead, or finding their place on the map. The issue that the pot hole symbolises (such as the state of the church car park) becomes almost all consuming, nearly eclipsing all else.
Christian people need to have correct spiritual posture so that they can see the full glory of God in Jesus; in the light of this bigger picture all else, pot holes included, will find their proper place.
The apostle Paul shows something of this bigger picture writing these words to the church at Colossae:
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.” (Colossians 1:15-18)
This is the grand vision, Jesus, the one who reveals the ways of God to us; he shows us the way because he is the way. Jesus Christ is all of this because he is God the Son. If we want to see the road ahead, if we want to know where we are on the map it is essential that we lift up our eyes and see God for us, Jesus.
Fix your eyes upon Jesus; this was the advice of the author of the book of Hebrews to Christians that were in danger of losing their ways because of the pot holes that surrounded them:
“We must look ahead, to Jesus. He is the one who carved out the path for faith, and he’s the one who brought it to completion.” (Hebrews 12:2) (Tom Wright. The New Testament for Everyone, (p. 501). SPCK. Kindle Edition.)
So as Christian people let us have the correct posture, so that we might see the pot holes in perspective and that we might know where we are on the map. So that we might go forward in the wonderful adventure, which is being caught up in the reign of God.
From the Pastor’s desk