Do you remember when you first rode a bike; maybe with stabilisers, but off you went, free as a bird? Until you came off! I remember running beside my daughters holding them upright until the moment I let them go and they pedalled happily on their own. The stabilisers came off and away they went, wobbling, but independent.

At the age of four, I had a green trike with solid tyres and I loved charging round and round our cul-de-sac. We moved to another house (I can’t even begin to remember how many times we moved!) and the trike snapped in half. I was heartbroken; even more so when my dad dumped it behind the high gate to the back garden in case a burglar came. He hoped they might take it for scrap instead of breaking into the house by the back entrance.

Many things in life still puzzle me; this thought process remains one of them. I struggle trying to understand so many things, especially about my faith. As an old man, it is always enlightening to find new ways of looking at the world – and God. To constantly discover that He is indeed a Mystery. I wonder about those who are so certain and propound their interpretation (usually based on human emotion). 

The English writer and poet D H Lawrence wrote, “The world fears a new experience more than it fears anything, because a new experience displaces so many old experiences.” Life is an experience, a journey from birth to the grave, with ups and downs in between.

Back to my tricycle – Faith is like a tricycle. It comprises the back wheels of Scripture and Tradition. The Bible is important; Tradition the fundamental – what a Church tells us to believe, but Experience is the front wheel; our personal journey in life and how it affects our beliefs. Good or bad experiences of religion are such major factors in how we view faith and our journey.

I am always here to chat if you have questions or comments about what I write. Why not check out YouTube: type in ‘chatsparkbench’ and you will find two short videos of me and my good friend Gerry from Ireland chatting about faith. Gerry is the wheel of Tradition. I am very much the wheel of Experience. Scripture stabilises our talks.

‘Bye for now and God bless you

Rev Andrew