Falcon Lodge Chapel

A small church with a BIG heart...

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DAY 89:  Monday 15 June





Good morning all


It’s a question asked so often by people of any age. When we have run 3GF minibus trips, sometimes passengers boarding the minibus would ask ‘How far is it to ???’, or how long will the journey be? 


When we take our children/grandchildren on a trip or holiday, the question will be asked, often more than once on the journey – how far?


To plan any journey, we need to establish the distance – ‘how far’ – in order to calculate at what time we will need to leave and at what time we can expect to arrive.


We struggle to comprehend vast distances – millions of miles to the nearest planets and unimaginable distances that can only be measured in light years to stars and far-off galaxies not even visible to the naked eye. When walking in a new location, we may stop a stranger to ask ‘how far to ???’. I remember my dear father warning me years ago something he learned the hard way when he lived and worked in Cornwall. He used to tell me how when enquiring ‘how far’ of one of the locals, they would respond something like ‘it’s not far, just up the lane and you’re there’. Dad would then discover, the hard way, that ‘just up the lane’ to a Cornishman often meant at least 2 or 3 miles up the lane!


I can imagine the Children of Israel pestering Moses with the repeated question ‘How far?’. Imagine their dismay when Moses responds ‘I don’t know how far, but God has told me it could take 40 years!’ Their wanderings in the wilderness would wait for an entire generation to die because when they were just one day’s walk from the Promised Land they didn’t trust God’s promise and demanded they be taken back into the bondage and slavery of Egypt which they had suffered for the previous 400 years.


So because they didn’t trust what God had promised them, a land of their own, God had no option but to say that none of that rebellious generation would ever enter the land, except for Joshua and Caleb. Even Moses himself never entered the Promised land although he did get to see it from the top of a mountain.


After 3 months of the pandemic in the UK, some things are now returning to something like normal, but there’s still a long way to go before we can consider life to be back to ‘normal’. It would be understandable if we question ‘how far?’ and ‘how much longer?’ on this long journey to national recovery. We have come so far but no-one can be certain how far we still have to travel on the road of recovery.


The only reassurance when we ask ‘how far’ is if the question is answered by someone who we trust actually knows the answer. When I drive the minibus on a trip and someone asks ‘how far’, hopefully they trust my response because a) I am the driver, and b) they would trust me anyway for other reasons. When we question about the journey out of the pandemic lockdown, who do we trust and believe – scientists, politicians, social media?


‘Repent’ is what we need to do when we realise how far we have gone off from the right road. In 1947 a Blues Gospel song ‘How Far from God’ was written by Sister Rosetta Tharpe and performed with the Sam Price Trio with the first verse -

           Well I look down the road and I wondered

           Yes, I wondered, oh Lord, I wondered

           I look down the road and I wondered

           Just to see how far, see how far I was from God


Who we trust is the clue to answering the question ‘how far?’.  We trust someone because they’ve been right in the past. One of the most reassuring how far’s in the Bible comes in the Psalms and reassures that our sins, shortcomings and failings have been removed by God beyond our reach if we only believe, repent and trust Him.


The distance from North to South pole is 12,430 miles. If we set off from the South pole we know when we reach the North pole; and if we keep going in a straight line, we will actually be heading back south again.

But if we travel from East to West there is no point at which we arrive at ‘West’ – however far we go, we’re still going west.


Psalm 103:12 - as far as the East is from the West, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.




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