No. 42 - 09th July 2017

I often take my wife for a clinical massage at a private address in Manor Park. Well this week, the husband left a book out for me that he thought might be of interest to me. So I spent the session browsing through the 1894 collection of paintings from the Royal Academy. They were obviously very Victorian, and I think what interested me most was how very different their approach was to subject matter. They were always looking outward for emotional scenes in poetry or mythology or the Bible. Whereas today, the emphasis seems to be more on expressing ‘my’ feelings and emotions. Anyway, I got to discussing this with the husband at the end of the session and we really weren’t connecting. He was talking about how technology had moved on so much and I really didn’t understand what he was going on about. Well, we sorted it in the end. He had given me the wrong book. I was talking about paintings from the Royal Academy and he was talking about some astonishing photographs that had been taken in the late 1800’s.

I’m sure you’ve experienced the same sort of thing. My wife and I are constantly doing it. One of us will change the subject without the other realising it. So, I’m still on the original subject while she’s talking about something completely different. It can get quite frustrating.

Some time ago, I was talking to a couple who were sitting at my table in a café. I don’t know what I said, but the wife asked me if I was religious. Now, that’s a difficult one, because what she means by religious, could be completely different from what I mean. If I say ‘yes’, then she’ll make all sorts of assumptions about me based on her idea of a religious person. Personally, I don’t like the word, because, for me it conjures up all sorts of ritual behaviour with lots of rules and regulations that have to be kept. Well, that doesn’t describe my spiritual life in any way. She might be talking about a narrow, restricted life, whereas I’m talking about real freedom. Freedom from guilt. Or, freedom from should’s and ought’s. Just freedom to enjoy life in an actual relationship with God. He’s put all my mistakes and failures behind Him, so I’m just free to enjoy Him and everything He’s made. Well, I don’t think the word ‘religious’ comes anywhere near that. So my answer to her question would have to be ‘No’. Absolutely not.

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