Food is fuel! To revert from an analogy with driving a car back to cycling, food converts into pedal-power. On a long bike ride, you are in tune with how your body is feeling. Besides fatigue in the legs and aches in the back, you know when you are running out of energy. After two hours of the final leg, I knew the energy from breakfast had been used up, and it was time for a ‘flapjack stop.’ Eating enough food at the right time was essential. Ploughing my way through a full English breakfast (north of the border this became a ‘full Scottish breakfast’ at the insistence of some patriotic hosts in the Bed and Breakfasts!) on some mornings felt like an endurance test. ‘Not more bacon, sausage, egg and black pudding,’ but I had to get through it. Otherwise I’d pay the prices later. When I’ve mentioned that at the end of a ride, we had to scoff biscuits, crisps and cakes in large quantities to recoup the calories we’d burnt, I have not been met with much sympathy! You can hear more about LEJOG 2016 – Lands End to John O’Groats – from Steve and me – at the event on 6th July.
When it comes to the spiritual journey, how do we keep going? The parallel is obvious we need spiritual food. Without it, we start to flag. Unless we do something, we risk flagging and giving up. Our faith is nourished by prayer, Bible reading – and there are lots of aids to help us engage with the Bible daily, notably reading notes – and receiving Holy Communion regularly. ‘Do not neglect to meet together,’ we are warned in the letter to the Hebrews in the Bible. We need to meet with other friends of Jesus for encouragement, and support.
One notable feature of our life together over recent years has been our building project. Thankfully, we have made some good progress over the last year, and the new heating system has made a significant difference. In June, the PCC looked at detailed plans for the reordering at the West End, and we should be in position soon to begin the work. The Building Project team has been sustained in its task by our sense of work together with each other and with God. “Unless the Lord builds the house,’ a verse from the psalms has been instructive. At every stage, we have sought the guidance and help of God in prayer. The prayer of Francis Drake has been especially resonant. It reflects the importance of perseverance, and relates to every venture whether riding from one of end of Britain to the other or our building project, and to the adventure that encompasses all others, our following of Jesus Christ.
“O Lord God, when thou givest to thy servants to endeavour any great matter,
grant us also to know that it is not the beginning, but the continuing of the same
to the end until it be thoroughly finished, which yieldeth the true glory:
through him who for the finishing of thy work laid down his life, our Redeemer Jesus Christ, Amen.”