This morning we awoke in the mist up Rooley Moor at Catley, Lane head. A wild, windswept area, high above the old cotton town of Rochdale in the valley straddling the River Roch. Visibility was down to about 15 ft, as the damp grey cloud engulfed us. You could hear the electric cables from the overhead pylons spit and crackle their displeasure.
Bertie wasn’t affected in the slightest by the conditions, happily darting up the wet slippery cobbles with his “ four-wheel drive”. For me it wasn’t the cold, wet early morning that bothered me, nor the lack of visibility. It was me, that bothered me, my mind to be more precise. I was trying to concentrate on the Lord and my desire to get to the Holy of Holies .
My mind was being obstinate and wayward, trying to pull me away, thinking about later today. What would church be like today? Who would be there? What would I need from the supermarket? Nothing of any relevance, but trying to keep me outside the outer courts.
A lot of times our minds take us away from the well, the source, but we need to persevere and get past this. To pursue the true riches of the relationship , turn our hearts inward to engage His presence, to meet Him in your spirit.
Later this morning I was encouraged by one of the elders who led the meeting this morning for his honesty. Obviously an elders conduct and manner should all be about honesty and integrity, but this was a true honesty that shines bright for all to see and possibly identify with.
The elder had shared a rare gem, a boy had asked him “Did you ever get bored in church, sir ? “. He admitted that he did. That at times his mind would wander, about matters later in the day or upcoming week , and that he then would be out of the moment. So by letting other stuff in, it shuts out the important matter of now!
With true sincerity, I admired this brave truth. Not just because I identify with it, but because when we admit our faults, we share the burden and can then seek His forgiveness. In other things too, the Holy Bible says in 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, that He may forgive us our sins and might cleanse us from all unrighteousness“ Also in James 5:16 “If we confess our sins to each other and pray for one another that you may be healed.“ So after my earlier struggle to control my wayward mind it was refreshing to hear this admission coming from the front.
In the gospel of John 14:23 Jesus said “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” It is not just a case of the Lord promising to come and make His home within you, He says 4 (FOUR!) times in this passage of Holy scripture, about the correlation between Love and keeping His commands. ( v 15, v 21 ,v 23 & v24 ) and if you look there in v17 Jesus himself calls the Holy Spirit, ”the Spirit of Truth“.
Tonight it is a night spent in a new area between Blackburn and Bolton, the sky seemed to crack and reveal a volcanic eruption of colour in the purples and greys of the early night sky , the colours of the fields turn to golden brown and rust coloured trees as Autumn dictates the artists pallet.