Sunday, 30 January 2011

Making a pig of yourself.

The other day I was going to a soccer match when a group of rival supporters got on the train. Their behaviour was loutish. They turned their attention to a young Italian woman who did not appreciate their advances. One started touching her and one made racist remarks. She had the sense to leave the carriage. I tried to convince them they needed the next stop which would have got them late to the ground and hopefully lost but they tumbled me and abused me as well. I alerted the police on leaving the train but they were not interested.

What I noticed about the men was how unaware of how awful their behaviour was. 'Ignorance is bliss' the old saying says.

Later I found this quote by Samuel Johnson.

He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.

I was watching the film A Beautiful Mind about the mathematician John Nash who eventually got the Nobel prize but suffered badly with mental illness. Being a human being, especially with gifts like Nash, means struggles: a lot of study and work, being misunderstood, rivalry with others, disappointments and the risk of failure. As the book of Ecclesiates says Dreams come with much business. ( 5.3 )

You might be pleased to know my team thrashed the visiting team.

Thursday, 20 January 2011


.................we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient; but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4. 18

Monday, 10 January 2011

smoke screen

One of my weaknesses is to have a cigar last thing at night. I used to smoke heavily but feel pretty good about having given up but I just hang on to one vestige of that past pleasure. A while back I went to Romania. I was staying with a family and I thought it wisest not to smoke in front of anyone. On the last evening I was taken to the station and while we waited for a train I thought I am going to have a smoke. The people seeing me off were young Christians on the evangelical end of the church. They started to give me a hard time quoting the body being the temple of the Holy Spirit. I happened to look behind me on the platform and there was one of the saddest sites. There was a pile of rags encasing a poor human form barely recognisable as human.

As the self righteous diatribe went on I wanted to ask them how they could ignore Jesus in the form of this sad man on this railway platform while ‘straining at gnats’ about my smoking. I don’t think my cigar smoking will keep me out of Heaven but ignoring the poor and hungry will. Matthew 25.35