I’ve been teaching number two bambino to drive; respect for my own father at this points hits atmospheric levels; it certainly has improved my prayer life- calling on the name of our Lord. I’ve been teaching her, as I taught her older sister (passed first time) and how Dad taught me (passed first time) and although number two child is a natural in many respects in other respects, the more obvious respects she needs to be told. This I have found strange, but she made it clear on this mornings drive, that what I thought was obvious (and to be honest the rest of planet) she should have been told. Totally my fault, as teacher if the pupil isn’t learning it is the teachers fault and the teacher needs to find away round of getting it across in a way that can be received. Now when it comes to faith, we have the best teacher we believe. Jesus put difficult theological concepts into such easy language for anybody to understand we quite often like Naaman (read 2 kings 5) reject the easy path because we feel we should be challenged more, because we feel that it should be something that we attain, to earn. So what did I say driving is about- operating a car? Moving from a to b? NOpe- observation. Driving is about observation (using all senses) and then responding to what your senses perceive to be a reality. Now I can hear immediately some of you ask how can it be all the senses? Well, eyes pretty obvious, but think of the sign warning you of airplanes overhead- that is because of the sound they make which could come as quite a shock when they are low flying; remember the supersonic boom that this town (Newquay) frequently used to hear; or hearing when you scrape the side of the car against a bush; or hearing you are in the wrong gear;. And touch- well if you hit a pot hole at speed, you feel that soon enough. What about smell- well round here you can smell when the dung is being laid on the films, so what does that tell us- tractors likely on the road, some drive fast some drive slow- but we can be prepared; or perhaps we can smell smoke so be mindful of the possibility of fire engines or that traffic may be slowed or stopped ahead. So using all our senses we adjust what we are doing in - in this scenario, observing is not just using our eyes. Then of course it got me thinking- that is a metaphor for life- we use all our senses at our disposal to gauge what is happening in life and we take appropriate action. In life though we have to understand also what is happening in us, our spiritual life, our mental and emotional wellbeing too. ie:- I’m not in a good space so I ought not to make life changing decisions. Things we do automatically most of the time, like driving, seems to be automatic pilot for so many half of the time. Life is about how respond to what is going on around us. Ok- I here you say, understood fine, not earth shatteringly new and not particularly Christian. Well should we always be trying to find a Christian slant to life issues- being good and nice to people is not the monopoly of Christians, although wouldn’t it be nice if we tried to ensure that Christians were actually nice to everybody, that would be refreshing. Life isn’t about being nice; life is about relationship in all its forms- so it isnt just about marriage or friendship, or people, but the relationship we have with all aspects of life. One of the biggest causes of mental ill health is people’s unhealthy relationship with food, whether it be to one extreme or another. Going back to the driving, it is about what we observe our relationship to be with the surroundings around, between car and road, car and other users, car and speed. So for instance Scarlett after two hours is at the stage (quickly I may add) that she is getting confused about speed, why at one poit I will say speed up and then say slow down dependent on the road conditions. She got exasperated, “look either 20 miles an hour is either too slow or too fast” which is it; what made it worse she was looking at the Rev counter at the time. So now we bring in the Christian doctrines- like forgiveness- what is our relationship with forgiveness- have we ever been forgiven? Have we ever forgiven? Same for love? Same for reconciliation? Or the resurrection of things past that we thought had been lost forever, a new chance if you like? What is our relationship with these concepts and how do we respond to them. How is experiencing forgiveness, or a second chance, or love, or creation, or power going to change us, make us, mould us. That is what makes us distinctive as a faith, not being nice but reflecting on our relationship in life with these doctrines. So whey not take one this week, say healing, in all its many forms and think how has our relationship with healing, whether we think we’ve experienced healing or whether we haven’t, how has this relationship impacted on or life. And if you want to explore these themes further they can be found in the novel, Reciprocity, which can be bought here at Church, or on this website, all, proceeds to the Church- make an ideal Christmas present for the one who has everything.