LETTER FROM A MINISTER
I like to save money by doing as many of my own car repairs as possible. I am probably not as quick with my car fixing as a professional mechanic and sometimes I follow the Haynes instruction manual wrongly and have to start all over again. This can be a frustrating experience but when certain components work again there is a great sense of satisfaction and relief—quite apart from having saved a few quid by doing so. Learning motor mechanics is an ongoing process.
Similarly, we sometimes have to revisit and undo some of the wrong ideas about God that we have picked up over the years. It is then possible to learn something new and fresh about how and where God is present in our lives. To learn more about God requires a thirst, hunger and excitement about what we may discover. This is something that we can do ourselves and at other times we need the help of others in our churches, just as when I have to consult a professional mechanic over some tricky car maintenance problems.
When revisiting old ground and ideas about God I usually find that the image of the grumpy old man in the sky image of God gets stripped away; and the void becomes filled with the living God who is even more generous and loving that I had previously assumed.
When I recognise that I've got something wrong in my interpretation of the car manual, as with many relationships, we sometimes get it all wrong about what God's character is really like; we have to begin all over again. What we discover by risking going back to the beginning really is worth it though, as we open the eyes of our hearts anew to all that God wants us to receive so always prepare to be pleasantly surprised!
Revd Nick Evans
Rector of Newport Pagnell