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“Go back to go forward”

Episode 21 podcast version of my weekly newsletter, 23 November 2019

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When to cut and run

Not long ago it rained heavily during the night.  I went out for my morning prayer walk as usual. The ground was sodden. I decided to take one of my less commonly used routes through the conservation area on my way back to the house.

I like it because it’s particularly quiet. It’s rare to come across another human being. However, I was aware that it often floods after heavy rain. Mind you, I was wearing good waterproof clothing and a proper stout pair of walking boots. Undaunted, I walked through the meadow as the water on the ground became deeper and deeper.

At one point an inner voice said, “This is not going to end well. Turn back and go home by another route.”  My stubbornness got the better of me. I pressed on, my feet getting wetter and wetter.

Finally, I came to the scene in the photograph above. I probed the shoreline trying to find a path through or across the deeper water to the path just beyond. None presented itself. Again the voice said, “Turn back. There is no shame in admitting your error.”

Once again, stubbornness won out and I thought I could get across the deep water by balancing on some logs. Bear in mind, this was a very cold autumn morning and it was barely light at the time.

You know how this is going to end, don’t you?

I started across on the logs, slipped, and landed in the deeper water completely soaking my feet and lower legs. It was cold! I trudged home duly chastened. As someone once said, “There is nothing so uncommon as common sense”. I had just proved that maxim.

Has your path in life taken you somewhere messy? Is it perhaps your own fault?  As you look back, can you see, with hindsight, you would have done well to turn back earlier. No matter. 

“I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.” (Luke 15:18 NIV11)

You can always turn back now. Don’t press on moving ever deeper into the quagmire. Stop soon as you realise where this is leading and take a different route. It matters not how embarrassing, humiliating or humbling it is to admit a mistake. It’s far worse having to walk home with muddy water pouring out of your boots!


I offer my recordings this week in the hope that they will help you take the right path through life.

The podcast summary contains a reminder of what’s been posted on my site this week. I.e. the usual TTT, SS & QTC. To watch/listen to any posts, just head over the the website.


Prayer request

Please pray for me as I continue to put the lessons together for the new “Sermon on the Mount” teaching series in January and February next year. I have outlined all 15 lessons, and put detail into four of those 15 so far. My goal is to do four more each Monday between now and the end of the year.


Thank you for reading this far, and encouraging me in my endeavours to support our times of quiet with God, our corporate worship experiences, and the effectiveness of our preaching and teaching.

If you know anyone who might enjoy these materials, please send them a link to my website and encourage them to sign up for this newsletter.

God bless, Malcolm