I’m writing this article whilst watching a cricket match in what might be considered a typical local village cricket setting.
The ground is surrounded by fields; some with crops growing in them, another has four horses grazing in it, and there is a smallholding close by, and it has a real sense of peace and tranquillity.
Countless people will have witnessed similar scenes for hundreds of years since the middle of the eighteenth century when cricket began to be played competitively in many towns and villages.
However, when you look more closely at the surroundings, you see things that would not have been present even a hundred years ago; nets for the players to practice in, covers to protect the batting strip, sight screens, a car park full of cars.
Then, from more recent times, there are telephone posts, electricity pylons, a mobile phone mast and even a wind turbine. All of which in the past would have had their share of objections when they were first planned to be put in place – they would have been seen as a blot on the landscape that would spoil our beautiful English countryside.
Yet very quickly they have become an accepted part of everyday life, in fact without them our lives would become more difficult.
No-one particularly wants a mobile phone mast in their neighbourhood and I guess that not many people would want to give up their mobile phone, but at this point in time we can’t have one without the other.
All of these things that were once considered to be a nuisance have now become an absolute necessity to maintain our quality of life.
We live in a world that changes so quickly that it can be difficult to keep pace with the changes.
Whilst it can sometimes even be traumatic to embrace change at times, change is essential for our world to improve and advance.
But change comes at a cost in many different ways, financial or emotional to name just two.
God calls us all to change; He calls us to turn from the temptations of our society – the ones that quickly become accepted as being the norm in the way that telephone posts, electricity pylons and wind turbines were once considered a blot on the landscape they are now accepted as being normal.
God calls us to change and to follow the way of Christ. But He recognises that it is costly to follow Jesus.
In Luke 9:57 it tells of a man who said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus accepts his offer to be a disciple but also points out that he must put to one side all earthly attractions and distractions and give himself totally to Jesus.
Whilst it may seem unreasonable to give up all of the things that might be deemed to be extravagances, the message that Jesus gave the man in the reading and likewise us, is that he expects changes to be made in our lives and that we should strive to be more Christ like.
Rev Dave Marvin, Vicar,
St Mary’s Church, Greasley