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Thursday, 17 April 2014

It woz a cat wot did it!

It hit us as soon as we got into the car!  A fragrance; an aroma; actually a vile smell. We immediately knew what it was - feline urine (that's cat's pee to the less sophisticated/more vulgar!!!).  A few days earlier, my wife had transported some 'broken-down' cardboard boxes to the local Recycling Centre.  I remembered that one of them had been standing up against the bin.  It would appear that one of the local cats had taken a liking to it.

We sprayed the inside of the car with air freshener; we left the windows open; the smell lingered on.  I vacuumed the back,where the boxes had been transported; the smell lingered on.  I even shampooed the back of the car; the smell lingered on. Eventually, my wife suggested that the source of the offending pong might not have been a box in the back, but something that one of us had transported on a shoe.  We checked the front carpets.  The one that sits at my dear wife's feet was quickly identified as the culprit!  The front of the car was now subjected to a full valet service - with that particular piece of carpet receiving special attention!  What a difference - and just in time for the long journey to the static, in the Gironde area of France.

As I reviewed the situation, I realised that the whole episode was something of an analogy of life! So often, we are accosted by situations, and circumstances, that we find to be, at the very least,unpleasant.  We turn over a new leaf here; we make a New Year resolution there; we promise ourselves that we will do better. It's all to no avail!  The new leaf is no better than the old; the resolution rarely sees the end of January; we discover that we cannot even keep a promise to ourselves!

What we need to do, of course, is get to the root of the matter; the source of the problem.  We find it identified in the written Word of God - the Bible.  Writing to the believers in Rome, Paul makes the statement that "... all have sinned, and fallen short of the standard that God has set." (3:23).   Sin is the problem - and it effects every single one of us - no exception!

So what can be done?  Well, when my wife and I discovered the source of our little problem, we dealt with it by washing the carpet.  Sin is dealt with in a similar way - but the 'washing' is not with carpet shampoo.  In Acts 22, we have one of the records of the personal testimony of Paul.  In the 16th verse, he shares some words of the Lord to Him: "Have your sins washed away by calling on the Name of the Lord."; while John writes that it is "... the blood of Jesus, His Son, [that] cleanses us from all sin." (I John 1:7).

As we approach Good Friday, and a time when we especially remember the sacrifice made, for us, at Calvary, may we come to Him, Who alone can deal with our sin and shame - because He has already borne both - and seek His cleansing power. It is only as we are cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, that we will enjoy His resurrection life - both now, and in eternity!

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