I was not sure where this blog entry was going when I started…

On my way to the Conference Centre yesterday I had a tyre blow out. It is not as dramatic as it sounds, nor as bad as it could have been. I had just come off the motorway onto an A road and was only doing 40mph when I heard a rumbling from the back of the car and pulled over to investigate.

not actually my car!

I was confronted with a very sad-looking rear tyre with all the air out of it, and left with the task of changing the tyre. It only took about 15 minutes to do, but I do find it funny / ironic given the theme of yesterday’s blog. I could have done with a team of mechanics to change my tyre at the speeds they do it in Formula 1 (about 4 seconds!).

I have now arranged for a mobile tyre replacement man to come out and replace the offending tyre while switching the others around so that the spare is on a ‘normal’ wheel and the remaining part-worn tyre becomes my spare… I hope I can explain it better to him when he arrives.

There are moments for all of us when we feel like all the air has been expelled from within us. Sometimes it is by events beyond our control. Sometimes it is by things that people say to us. Sometimes it is because we cannot believe our own daftness.

What do we do in those circumstances? I could make a cheesy analogy with God coming to change our spiritual tyres. But that is not a fair analogy. If we feel like my flat tyre we can’t simply be replaced and sometimes we cannot be easily reinflated. Sometimes we need someone we can trust with whom we can share how we feel and who will listen without judging us. Sometimes we need someone who can offer us a different perspective on our experience and help us to see a way ahead. Sometimes we need someone who will covenant to pray for us and stand with us.

I am reminded of the time when, just after the Israelites had miraculously been led by Moses through the Red Sea and God had provided water from the rock, Moses was visited by his father-in-law Jethro (Exodus 18). Jethro’s first reaction when he heard all that had happened was to praise God and express faith in him (I suspect he had not been a believer before then – he is described as ‘a priest of Midian’).

The next day he watched Moses at work as leader of the people, sorting out all their disputes, and he saw that what Moses was doing was daft – it was going to wear him out and was not going to be enough to be an effective leader. He was not omnicompetent and needed to delegate.

That outside perspective from someone he knew and respected and who was prepared to speak (lovingly) and advise Moses possibly saved him from burnout and perhaps made the task of leading the people through the wilderness achievable.

Oh that we might have the wisdom to know whether we need to be Jethro to another or listen to him/her…

And why was it that Moses led the people around the wilderness for 40 years? Even in those days men would not stop and ask for directions!

Be blessed, be a blessing

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