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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

You need to know the problem!

In January, on our way back to France, we collected a small caravan as we really have been missing our caravan holidays. It's a 24-year-old Eriba - caravans that were, I am convinced, designed by the designers of Dr Who's Police Telephone Box. They certainly seem to be able to hold much more than the external dimensions would indicate.

Anyway, last week we took the 'new' caravan for a test break, just to check that everything was working correctly. One of the differences between this Eriba and previous "full-size" caravans, is that the water supply is kept inside - with separate containers for the kitchen and the wash-hand basin in the toilet (yes, it isn't totally primitive!). I filled both containers when we arrived on-site, and  we settled down for a pleasant 'long week-end'. It was when my wife used the wash-hand basin that the problem surfaced (no pun intended!). The tap was obviously operating, as we could hear the pump in the reservoir working. However, instead of water flowing from the tap, it was bubbling into the cupboard below.

The resident  plumber (me!) was called to the scene and started to look for the source of the unwanted water-flow. I checked the connection to the tap, but all was well. I checked the top of the container, but it was tightly sealed. Eventually, I discovered that, when I had removed the container in order to fill it, I had inadvertently disconnected the feed pipe from the top. This meant that the water was being pumped out from that spot!

Well, having discovered the problem, I was able to easily deal with it, and the water flowed as it was intended to!

So why am I sharing this? Simply because I see, in the experience, an analogy of human life. So many are searching for meaning and purpose in life. However, if they are looking in the wrong places, they are never going to find the solution. Some will try to find it in their job; some in relationships; some in drugs (including alcohol and nicotine); some in power and authority. However, it was a wise man, named Blaise Pascal, who pointed out that "There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing," or as Augustine put it many centuries earlier, "Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee." Even further back in time, the writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes wrote: "God has set eternity in the hearts of men." (3:11).

Our problem is what the Bible describes, so very simply, as "sin", defined by the Shorter Catechism as "... any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God." In more contemporary language, that is saying that if we fail to keep God's laws, or break any of them, then we are guilty of sin! And, of course, as the Bible also points out, that includes every one of us: "... there is no distinction; since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," (Rom.3:22-23).

That's the problem! My sin separates me from my Creator, and there is nothing that I can do to rectify the situation. Thankfully, He has already dealt with the problem. The Blaise Pascal quotation continues: "... but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus." He, and He alone, is the answer. He gave Himself, as God in human flesh, on a cross at Calvary, that you and I might have the opportunity to be reconciled to God. What a wonderful offer! Have you taken it up? If not, then I urge you to do so without delay. 

You now know the problem - grasp the solution while you still have time. Remember, tomorrow isn't guaranteed to any of us"

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