DAY 35: Wednesday 22 April
HOLD ON. HOLD FAST
Good morning everyone
Test all things; hold fast what is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
How often have you used or heard the expression – ‘Hold On’? Something that occurs occasionally in a Sunday service at the Chapel when we encounter a blip with projection – what was expected to appear on screen doesn’t show so I’ll say ‘hold on’ whilst our projection expert David clicks the keys on the laptop then what we’re waiting for appears!
I’ve never learned to ride a horse, or a donkey for that matter. I can only remember one attempt whilst on holiday many years ago. My wife and the friends we were camping with decided a horse trekking experience would be fun. All I remember of the expedition was the ‘instructor’ constantly telling me to ‘hold on’ which I did ‘for grim death’ and succeeded to return to the stables without falling off the beast. I have never attempted to ride a camel or elephant, although I believe some of you have, but I would imagine the instruction is the same – ‘Hold on!’
There have been many occasions in life when I’ve been the one to say, ‘hold on’. Years ago, to a nervous girlfriend gingerly inching her way along a narrow path with danger on each side, so being the gentleman I am (well….was…), I stretch out a helping hand with the reassuring command ‘hold on’ until we are past the danger.
Probably the most often I’ve uttered ‘hold on’ has been to children/grandchildren. Needing to slow them down before crossing a road or call them back when they’re racing away from me on foot or on bike. ‘Hold on’ can mean slow down, wait for me. It is also the reassurance when they are in fear of some real or imaginary danger; they hold tight to my hand, but when real danger arises, it’s me that is actually holding on to them with a grip they cannot slip. It’s a measure of my responsibility in caring for them.
Another term we use is ‘hold fast’ which implies a secure hold. The root-like structure by which seaweed and other aquatic growths attach to rocks is called ‘Holdfast’. In industry and DIY we use fasteners which is the generic name for screws, nuts, bolts and rivets and much of the growth and wealth of Birmingham came from the manufacture of ‘fasteners’ by companies like Nettlefolds which later became GKN. And those of you ladies who make clothes will use fastenings such as zips, buttons and press studs and if you’re really trendy - Velcro!
When a ship arrives at port, ropes and cables will be passed from the vessel to the quayside to secure the ship to the shore, and when all is secure, the term ‘All Fast Sir’ will be conveyed to the captain who will then allow the passengers to safely disembark.
The words ‘hold on’ and ‘hold tight’ mean WE do the holding on, but the problem is when we get weak or careless, it’s too easy to slacken our grip and let go. But ‘hold fast’ implies a secure, more permanent attachment. Superglue promises to never let go; rivets are used in shipbuilding in the hope they will never come loose. Rock-climbers and mountaineers will fasten themselves by carabiners to secure climbing ropes, and bungee jumpers just have to trust the rope will ‘hold fast’ at the top!
Last Sunday morning we were listening to the recording of John Abbott speaking from Psalm 139 which has the encouraging verse 10 ….Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast. That I find so reassuring because my grip on Him is so weak and unreliable but when He holds me fast, nothing on earth can separate that bond.
In yesterday’s daily email, Linda Smith had mentioned Psalm 46:10 ‘Be still and know that I am God’. Then yesterday afternoon someone called unexpectedly at our house with flowers and chocolate (THANK YOU) and guess what verse was written on the card – Psalm 46:10!
But coming back to Psalm 139:10 – on Monday I received an email from Ted Roberts (he is feeling much better thanks although still with catarrh and dry cough. Ted gave a link to a hymn that I remembered from 50-60 years ago, but it’s now set to a new tune. The chorus of the hymn says, ‘He will hold me fast, He will hold me fast’ and here’s a link to our Hymnalong library. The words appear on screen for you to follow as Keith & Kristyn Getty perform the song >>> https://falconlodgechapel.sermon.net/main/hymnalong/21578790
Linda Lord has become a great grandmother (again…) to a new great grand-daughter born yesterday.
MAKE YOU SMILE:
A taxi passenger tapped the driver on the shoulder to ask him something.
The driver screamed, lost control of the car, nearly hit a bus, went up on the pavement and stopped centimetres from a shop window.
For a second everything went quiet in the cab, then the driver said, "Look mister, don't ever do that again, you scared the daylights out of me!"
The passenger apologised and said he didn't realise that a little tap on the shoulder would have scared him so much.
The driver replied "Sorry, it's not really your fault.
Today is my first day as a cab driver. I've been driving hearses for the last 25 years".
More tomorrow – have a safe day in the knowledge that you are held fast whatever may come….