not from here

There’s an ancient story of a businessman who got lost in the country lanes of North Devon. His supersatnav in his car was no help. Eventually he came across a farmer leaning on a gate and he stopped his luxury car in front of the farmer and pushed the button to lower the window.

“Excuse me, please can you tell me the way to Exeter?” asked the businessman.

The farmer thought for a long time and then said, “If I were g’win to Exeter I wouldn’ start from ‘ere.”

I was reminded of that story this week as I began a formal process of cardiac rehab. I had an introduction interview and was wondering whether I was so far out of shape that the physio would tell me we couldn’t start from where I was.

Instead, however, she was incredibly encouraging and positive. She has seen enough cardiac surgery victims shuffle into the process to be confident of positive outcomes and significant improvement through the course. And she gave me that reassuring sense of confidence too. She asked me my goals. When I told her what they were she told me that they were achievable.

In life we can only start from where we are. We might hope to be in a different place physically, emotionally, spiritually or geographically but we have to start where we are.

I find it helps immensely to remind myself that God always starts with me where I am (even if I am in the wrong place). He might want new / different for me but he always starts where I am and gently encourages me forwards.

He does that through good, wise friends, through engaging with my own thought processes, through what I read in the Bible, through surprising circumstances and sometimes through complete strangers.

And with that encouragement and a confidence-raising awareness that millions of people in history have trusted him we step forward together.

Be blessed, be a blessing

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