I had an interview at Spurgeon’s for my college course on Monday and so after our weekly pastoral meeting I cycled into Cheshunt and took the opportunity to drop my bike in at the cycle shop at the Pond to have it serviced. The bike is a bit of a hybrid; the frame is a Trek frame, a fantastically light frame which I was given by my Dad and the rest of the kit came from my previous road bike, transferred across over a few weeks effort with a book from the library, whatever tools I could lay my hand on and literally blood, sweat and tears! I’ve been really pleased with it expect the brakes didn’t really fit properly, they sufficed for a start but weren’t a long term answer, and the gears were a little crunchy. I’d been told the shop in Cheshunt and their sister store in Waltham Cross were very good and cheap and so I thought I’d get them to give it a once over and fit some new brakes – just as most people would put their car in for an annual service. I’m looking forward to getting it back and taking it for a whirl.
Regular servicing can be a bit of a pain and expense, but as we’ve learn from our car, it is important. Our car as some of you may remember from past sermon illustrations, has a habit of clogging up over time, and if this isn’t dealt with regularly the performance suffers, sometimes, as we found out on fateful Christmas, quite dramatically! (I’ll never forget the sight of black smoke in the wing mirrors…) It isn’t just vehicles that can benefit from a service, however, we can too, and this is what the current season of Lent is all about. At its heart it is not about giving up chocolate, alcohol or social media, or whatever you feel your vice is, but is a time to strip back some of the junk we pile on our lives and get back to basics, to step back for a while and examine ourselves and refocus our hearts and minds on God. We might not follow the Church calendar in the same way that more formal parts of the church do, but the season of Lent is a very helpful annual reminder to do this like a service warning light that might flash up on your dashboard from time to time. Similarly, like a service it can be painful, maybe not on the wallet but on our pride as we realise that there are areas where we need to confess our failings or seek God’s renewal, but this is constructive pain as we will run all the better for it.
Make space to be with God this week and let the master mechanic do his work in and through you!