Radio Leicester Thought for  the Day

14 September 2002

 

Right now, as I speak to you, some of you are in your car, and maybe you’re caught up in traffic, stop-starting your way to your destination.  It’s no comfort, but there was a humdinger of a hold-up on Saturday.  The police, trying to deal with an incident involving a man on a bridge over the M1, closed down the local motorways.  Thousands and thousands of people were caught up in an 18-mile, 8-hour tailback.  I was trapped in a similar incident on the M6 myself once, and I know how frustrating it is to have to sit there waiting for an indefinite time.  The greatest irritation is not knowing why you’ve been stopped for so long, and people have complained that the police didn’t tell them why they’d had to close the motorways.  I’m sure the police will be taking that on board in their review of the situation.  The important thing, though, was that they ensured that no one was killed or injured in the incident.

 

Communication of information through language is one of the key things that distinguish mankind from the other animals.  Following the agricultural age (when people stopped being hunter-gatherers and became farmers), and then the industrial age (when people stopped working on the land and started working in the manufacturing industries), we are now living in the communication age.  There was the telegraph and the telex and the telephone, then radio and television.  And quite recently we’ve had digital broadcasting and mobile phones and text messages and the internet.  Who knows what is coming tomorrow?

 

Human communication is usually about rather more than passing on information, though.  It is about creating and building relationships.  There’s a reader and a writer, a speaker and a listener.

 

Another distinguishing feature of the human species is the widespread need to communicate with God.  Prayer is all about creating and building our relationship with God.  Just like a child sitting on its parent’s knee with the two of them talking.  So when we pray, it’s not to an impersonal force, but to a loving father (Jesus told us to call Him “Abba”, which means “Dad”) who wants the best for his children.  And he always answers our prayers, though it’s sometimes “Yes”, sometimes “No” and sometimes “Not yet”.

Which may help a little if you’ve just been praying “God, get me out of this traffic jam”!

 

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