Christian Comment - Gazette Nov 2019
I was driving along the other day, musing to myself that appearances can be deceptive, and that things are not always as they seem, when a funny thing happened. Not a funny ha! ha! sort of thing. An unexpected sort of thing.
I was just turning left into Kennedy Way when my car sort of stopped - just like that! When I say, 'my car sort of stopped', it was more like it glided gracefully to a halt, and then stopped, like a dodgem car whose time is up, leaving me stranded, diagonally across the road, unable to move. I tried pressing a pedal. Nothing. I tried turning the key. Absolutely nothing. I tried flicking through the gears. Absolutely and utterly nothing. I tried waving at the passing traffic. Definitely, absolutely and utterly nothing. I was at a loss what to do.
Eventually a man came to my rescue. "Are you all right?" he asked. "Not really," I think was my reply. "My car’s just sort of stopped." "Try turning the engine on," he said helpfully. I did. Nothing. "Have you run out of petrol?" he asked. "No," I said, as I turned the key again and looked at the petrol gauge. "It's half full". Very kindly he pushed me to the side of the road - which he found much easier once I had taken off the handbrake
Husband arrived with a couple of helpful suggestions. "Have you phoned breakdown?" he asked. I informed him that I was just getting around to it. "Have you run out of petrol?" he asked. "No!" I said firmly, turning the key and pointing to the petrol gauge which said half full. "Someone's already asked me that! It's half full." "Oh dear!" he said, although I detected a slight smirk.
But the truth of the matter was, despite appearances to the contrary, and my complete and utter conviction that the gauge said otherwise, I had run out of petrol and that is why my car slid to a halt on Kennedy Way. And I am sometimes a bit like my car on that particular morning. All may look well on the outside, (hair and make-up done, matching accessories, tights without holes), but inside I am running on empty, worn out and weary, in danger of grinding to a halt. I need help. Jesus invites us to come to Him if we feel worn out and weary. To lean on him if and when we need help. He never turns us away. "Are you tired? Worn out?" he says. "Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life."
Rev’d Stephanie Gordon-Jeffs
Rector, Exe Valley Mission Community