Remember when you were just a kid?
Pretty much everyone at school was your mate.
At Primary School your teachers nurtured you, and during the holidays you got to stay with your Grandparents.
Life was good.
Maybe things got a bit tougher at Secondary School (especially if you were a perennial underachiever like me).
You got a bit of cash from your first job (mine? A 7 days a week paper-round), you stashed away your hard earned cash for something big like a 5 Speed Bike, and still had enough left over for a few magazines, and sweets each week.
Then there was the big day when you left school and got your first “proper job”. Mine was worth £97 a month after tax.
Life was good, new mates to rub shoulders with, your first “office party” and pretty soon enough pennies to warrant driving lessons.
Maybe like me you managed to pass first time, and suddenly you’d go from being wealthy to being perpetually broke as you tried to keep an unreliable rust box on the road.
Perhaps a few years on you’d meet someone special, and struggle against all the odds to buy your first home.
So what if the mortgage interest hit 14.9%? Your folks were always there if the cupboards became empty.
Then there’s the family to start. Aren’t little ones so sweet? Even so money might have been tight. Inevitably there’d be rows about new school shoes when there simply wasn’t enough money in the account to pay for them.
As the your little uns grew up you were there to care for them,enjoy them, and watch them develop.
Maybe then things started to get sticky. Perhaps a relationship went Pete Tong, or you lost your job, or a close relative.
How did you react? Did you buckle, or square up to situation and come out on top – despite the odds.
And life settled into a new routine, but then wave upon wave of “life” just seemed to hit you.
Perhaps your husband ended up in an institution, totally unable to carry on in a good job which previously had been a walk in the park.
Yup, a lack of good health can really rock you.
Hopefully you’ll have had a shoulder or two to lean on? A mate who’d join you for coffee without an agenda, someone to simply listen.
Funny how all those years at school never really prepared you for adult life. It’s like pedalling against a headwind.
Life stops being about living, and becomes more about survival. If you’d become a Christian as a teenager you may even have felt guilty that you weren’t enjoying
“Victorious Christian Living”.
As I look around me and see fresh characters buckling under the pressures of modern life I’ve come to realise LIFE isn’t all plain sailing.
There are periods when we are swept along at a great pace with hardly a care in the world, but at others we simply don’t know where to turn.
Yes, even those we respect and believe have “got it all together” still struggle from time to time.
I could give you a raft of Bible verses, but here’s something else to ponder. Should we really be looking at things from “our” perspective, as though life revolves around us?
Are we in maelstrom of life precisely because a creator God is seeking to work something out in each of us?
Does 21st Century man (and woman) simply need to learn that in the grand scheme of things we aren’t as capable as we might think?
Should we give up that very British notion that we should always display a stiff upper lip?
Perhaps now is the time to stop pedalling? Get out of the hamster wheel and just stop.
Certainly there’s something liberating about simply sitting still and looking out to sea, and for a moment not trying to achieve non stop 24/7.
“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”