Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Thought for the Day

As delivered at BBC Radio Bristol this morning on Breakfast with Emma Britton:

I enjoyed spending some time with my two sons over Christmas. They rarely fail to make me laugh. Don't tell them. We keep our relationship strictly sarcastic. Occasional guests at our Christmas table find our conversation complex. It's rudeness without throwing things and never gets out of hand.

At one point a rather cringe-worthy conversation developed in which Mrs Tilley and I found ourselves having our parenting skills critiqued.

Turns out that, when watching our boys play football, we were embarrassing parents. The summary of our ability to encourage was that we stood on the touchline and shouted, perhaps too loudly, 'Play better'.

Getting advice about your parenting twenty five years too late isn't that helpful, although I pass it on for the benefit of those of you who still have relationships to fix.

Our view of God can be pretty similar. He stands on the sidelines looking at our lives and we occasionally hear him shout:

Do better.

Be cleverer.

Act wiser.

Many of the items in the news today are not things we can do anything about. The weather. Celestial displays. A motorway closure to move a large aeroplane.

But maybe we can react better, cleverer and wiser.

We have finished our annual rehearsal of the great Christmas stories of the Christian tradition. But one theme is worth taking on with us into the new year. How will you react when news is unusual or unexpected?

The year to come will present unique opportunities to strain our patience. If you don't feel up to responding to the challenge, the truth is that God is down to it. And of course BBC Radio Bristol is here to hold your hand on the journey. No pressure Emma. No pressure.

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