Monday, December 30, 2013

Thought for the Day

As delivered at BBC Radio Bristol this morning:

Can you peel a satsuma in one hand without breaking the peel? Try it. It's not easy.
But, rather than doing without one hand, can you manage without fruit? A great brain-training exercise is to peel fruit in your imagination without breaking the peel. Not easy. You need to stop your head thinking about things going wrong.
Before tomorrow night many of us will make new year's resolutions. You got one planned? Something you can imagine doing, or does it break down as soon as you think about it?
A while back, when I was training for the ministry, a colleague told me a secret. He said there was a positive way to use a resolution. Rather than trying to stop something such as smoking or putting on weight he introduced me to the idea of two year resolutions. Devote two years to acquiring a new skill.
I tested. I am right handed. I spent a couple of years deliberately favouring my wrong, left hand. I am not exactly ambidextrous now, but I can pour drinks with either hand, which is useful when hosting parties.
And it did take two years. After one year I wasn't finished.
Jesus-following is a radical discipleship. A big resolution. It figures out the cost first. Then goes for it. It takes a lifetime, not a year or two.
He spoke about the cost of being his follower. Give up everything and put me first. Prioritise me over all other things. He spoke of building a tower being a project not worth doing until you work out if you can finish - or the half-completed structure will stand there reminding everyone of your failure.
All the best with whatever you resolve.

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