‘What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?’ – Psalm 8:4From James Griffin:
Le Tour de France – what an event – I absolutely love it! Three weeks of tactics, teamwork, and heroic individual efforts. There are fast sprint stages, agonising mountain stages and spectacular crashes. Not to mention the beautiful scenery and bizarre roadside artworks, all built around finding out who can cycle around France in the shortest time!
At the time of writing, a Manx rider, Mark Cavendish, has just equalled the record for most individual Tour stage wins. It’s been emotional viewing as Mark has suffered serious physical and mental health barriers in recent years and had thought he’d never ride the world famous Tour ever again. To see the joy on his face after his wins this summer and the way he can’t stop hugging and thanking those around him has bought tears to millions of eyes.
Mark’s wife Peta, speaking about what life has been like for Mark and his family over the recent difficult years said something which will be familiar to all of us. “When you’re doing well everybody wants to be around you, when you’re not, they vanish and it’s just you, and maybe one or two others.”
Now, we may not be champion cyclists, but we get it. When you have something to offer, some talent, skill, insight, strength or commodity, people flock around you. When you don’t, the phone stops ringing, the invites dry up and it can feel like it’s just you and the four walls. You’re suddenly the has-been.
So today I pray two things for you. First, that the Psalmist’s question, asked in awe and wonder from today’s verse will cause you to stop and ponder. There’s no mention of you having to achieve anything whatsoever to be assured of the Creator’s care. Nothing at all. Whether you’re a former ‘Big Cheese’ who’s phone no longer rings, or you feel no one has ever really noticed you at all. From the moment of your conception, before you’ve done or achieved anything you are known, significant and loved.
And secondly, can I seriously recommend being part of a Home Group. I’ve found ours a tremendous source of support through life’s ups and downs and where we can all just be ourselves, warts and all!
The world may want you when you have something to offer, but we walk by a different story. It’s great knowing there’s a group of people who choose to be around one another week after week, motivated by love and not because of personal gain. Supportive and mindful Home Groups are a sign of God’s character being played out amongst his people.
Enjoy the rest of the Tour!