Just desserts

The Wokingham Paper - - VIEWPOINTS - The Revd Calvin Ju­lian-Jones is pas­tor of Sindle­sham Bap­tist Church, on be­half of Churches To­gether in Wok­ing­ham

PIC­TURE this, a man lost in the vast scorch­ing Sa­hara Dessert. Soon he be­gins to crave for wa­ter. Af­ter sev­eral hours of wan­der­ing in search of help, he sees a man rid­ing a camel. He cries out “wa­ter, wa­ter” but the man says to him “Sorry, I don’t have any wa­ter but would you like to buy a tie?” The man an­grily says no and stag­gers off over the sand dunes. Think­ing I don’t wear ties they are too old fash­ioned couldn’t he see I’m in dan­ger of dy­ing here.

Af­ter what seems many more hours he even­tu­ally sees an­other man. By now he is al­most faint­ing, again he cried out for wa­ter but again he got the same re­ply. “NO I don’t want a tie I need wa­ter.” So he con­tin­ues his search, think­ing “ties are not only use­less out of date, they’re too for­mal I couldn’t re­lax in a tie.”

Sev­eral hours later he is mov­ing very slowly on his knees. Then he sees an­other man and he thinks at last he will help me, but again the same thing hap­pens.

As he slowly stag­gered off the man heard him say­ing to him­self, “I need wa­ter ties are out of date, use­less, too for­mal and restrict­ing, you can’t re­lax when you’re wear­ing one and be­sides a tie is the last thing I need I’ve got more than enough prob­lems with­out hav­ing to wear a tie in a hot desert, ties don’t make sense.”

Then sev­eral hours later the man by now is us­ing up all his en­ergy to crawl for­ward inch by inch, he sees what he thinks must be a mi­rage. He sees not an oa­sis, but ris­ing out of the sands in the dis­tance, a mag­nif­i­cent, ma­jes­tic high rise, mod­ern, plush … ho­tel!

The mi­rage does not dis­ap­pear and the closer he gets to it the more real it ap­pears. Then he re­alises it is ac­tu­ally a real ho­tel. He sum­moned up ev­ery last piece of en­ergy and stag­gered to the main door­way where he is greeted by a door man. “Wa­ter, wa­ter” he cried. The man replies “Sorry sir you can’t come in here with­out a tie!”

Nearly 200 years ago Je­sus Christ said: “I am the way, the truth and the life, No one comes to The Fa­ther, ex­cept through me” (John 14:6).

Ever since peo­ple have dis­missed that claim to be false and to­day peo­ple think that be­liev­ing in The Good News of the Gospel of Je­sus Christ is out of date, and too old fash­ioned… But then so is breath­ing!

Or that be­ing a fol­lower of Je­sus would be too re­stric­tive to “en­joy” life, and I’ve got enough prob­lems al­ready, be­ing a Fol­lower of Je­sus would bring me more. I’ll just keep go­ing the way I am.

Be­sides if there is a God I’m sure He’ll let me in to heaven I’m no worse than any­one else and I’m prob­a­bly a lot bet­ter than mil­lions of oth­ers.

Now stop for a mo­ment and imag­ine that would Je­sus said is ac­tu­ally true. Where does that leave you? I’ve al­ready bought a tie … see you in­side.

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