Some years ago, this beast of a climbing frame went up in our garden:
If I were to ask you what colour this climbing frame is, you would, in all likelihood, respond, ‘Blue’. And you’d be right. But over the years, it’s changed a little. Let me show you a more recent picture, this time a little closer up:
See, it’s not so blue now, is it? When you get a little closer, it’s clear to see that the climbing frame, while blue, is not exactly sporting a freshly-painted look. We got it a few years ago, and I spent many hours (to this day, I think it may have been the most boring hours of my life) painting it blue before putting it up in the corner of our garden. And it’s been there ever since, come rain or shine, ready to be clambered all over by any number of children. And over that time, it’s got a bit worn down. It’s been largely neglected since its arrival in the corner of our garden. There are some bits that have kept their colour pretty well, but the bits that have seen the most use are in real need of a paint-job. And so that’s what I’ve been doing with a friend over the last couple of days. It’s not massively more exciting than the first time round, though doing it with company makes it much more bearable! But putting in a little effort means that it really is looking more blue than before.
You see, if I were to describe myself, the word ‘Christian’ would crop up pretty early in the description. And that’d be true. But, like the climbing frame, there’s a danger that I end up getting a bit worn down and need to be freshened up. There are bits of being Christian that I have been guilty of neglecting. I reckon you’d not have to get too close before you started seeing the worn bits…
And that makes me think of the Holy Habits that I go on about quite a lot. Because if I was in the habit of painting the climbing frame regularly, there wouldn’t be worn out bits. And it would also be stronger, because the paint would prolong the life of the wood. Likewise, if I was more disciplined about developing Holy Habits, I’d not end up looking like a slightly neglected Christian…
So this is me announcing that I’m going to be making a renewed effort at those Spiritual Disciplines, because I don’t like having worn-down bits of my Christian life. And of course, like the painting, it’s not something I’ll have to do on my own.
Are there bits of your life that need freshening up?
Who can you work with on this?