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Monday, 16 July 2012

Levels of Protection

At last, a day without rain – well, a few sprinkles, but the sheets are drying outside for a change.

So I attacked some of the weeds which have taken over the veggie patch. Given the sort of day it is, I donned my cork hat from Australia to deter the pesky flies. I tried tying a scarf round my mouth and nose, in true Western outlaw style, but found that just too claustrophobic. 

An hour later, walking the dog through the thigh-high grass/weeds, I kept the cork hat on and held a jacket over my nose and mouth. I was trying, in vain, to keep the hayfever from breaking out, but probably the weeding had already done the job. Violent sneezing fits announced my approach to every rabbit and pheasant within earshot.

I was willing to look foolish to deter certain irritations. A hat to protect me from the rare, but warm, sun. Corks bobbing round it to repel buzzing and biting flies. And a coat held over my face to block out pollen.

The hat left my hair flat and lifeless. The corks annoyed me probably as much as they annoyed the flies as they swung and tangled in irregular patterns. The coat barricade was like closing the door after the horses have bolted. Ridiculous.

Life is full of irritations – some which are nothing more than annoying irritations, others which have consequences.

I can choose to deal with them in an unruffled fashion if I spend time focused and centred on Jesus, so that his peace fills me with a deep sense that I am safe. Or I can plough on, swatting at them and suffering the annoying consequences.

This isn’t just a theory. I know it’s true in my life. 

What I can’t really fathom is why I so often fail to choose the way of peace, and instead press on in my own inadequate strength.

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