Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Pray for Muamba

Saturday was a strange day. As news of Muamba broke and you realised how serious it was I was reminded of the two players in leagues I have played in who have died whilst playing football on a Saturday morning. I too pray that Muamba will make a full recovery and that his family and friends will find comfort in a difficult time.

What has really struck me about this whole event is the host of people who have been calling on people to pray for him. everyone seems to have been talking about prayer and saying things like 'God willing he makes a full recovery'. Footballers who I have heard a lot of suddenly start talking about prayer and God.

It is striking how when disaster and suffering strike people are suddenly reminded of their own weakness and impotence and end up crying out to a God who they never normally seem to talk about. Suffering is a terrible thing and something which God undoubtedly hates. However, it is striking how in his mercy God uses suffering to remind people of their need for him. It's as if it takes something as dramatic as a heart attack to make people recognise their need of someone bigger and better than them. But in the midst of trouble, heartache and shock we get reminded of what we all know - that God is out there and we desperately need him. Just look at the reaction to Muamba and you will see that the sense of God is perhaps more present than most of us let on most of the time.

Monday, 12 March 2012

I don't want to be rescued

Having recently blogged on films such as The Wrestler I decided it was time to show that I was a modern man and in touch with my sensitive side etc by blogging about the period drama 'Upstairs, Downstairs'.

I am a bit behind and so am just currently watching the first season. In it you see the sister of someone (who is welsh) who has married into money talking about how her sister with her new found money wants to rescue her. She responds to this as follows,
'I don't want to be rescued. If I'm to be rescued I have to admit how ghastly my life up to now has been' - Or something equally posh but with the same sentiment.

I have no doubt that the people who wrote this knew how true this was. None of us like to admit that we have failed at anything never mind at life itself. To admit that we have failed to live the kind of rewarding, meaningful and enjoyable life which everyone is telling us we should have is basically impossible. To accept rescue is not only to say that we can't help ourselves but in this context to say that we have not been capable to live the sort of life we hoped to. It is to admit to having been a failure at life.

The heart of Jesus' message was that all of us make a failure of life. All of us fail to live the lives we ought and as a result fail to find the satisfaction and meaning we desire and fail to build the kind of relationships and world we long for. The problem is that to admit this is to write off huge portions of our life (10,20, 50 years) as a failure. As us failing to find what we were looking for and achieve what we wanted. Jesus offers rescue for all people. He offers the relationship with God we all long for and with it life in its fullness. However, in order to accept this we have to first recognise that we need rescuing. The problem is that like the woman in Upstairs Downstairs we don't want rescuing because to do that we have to admit that we have failed to do life adaquetely ourselves.

I wonder how many of us refuse to admit this and so refuse to turn to Jesus for rescue. Of course the problem with this is that denial doesn't make the problem go away. In fact it just makes us incapable of accepting the solution. It makes us incapable of accepting the rescue.