Good Sunday morning from a peaceful Notting Hill!
Over the last week I’ve had 3 punctures with my bike. The first was after the divine mercy mass in Ealing Broadway on Wednesday, the second was after the divine mercy mass in Ealing Broadway on Friday and the third was yesterday just after evening mass at the Carmelites.
We all experience at times trials like this and while they seem smile and insignificant in a way, often like a mosquito in the room when we are trying to sleep….they can annoy us immeasurably.
Jesus allows these little trials to purify our hearts and our trust.
Was I going to say “after going to mass this is how you look after me Jesus” or was I going to say “praise God, you have another plan”.
I went for the second route and thanked God thinking maybe He allowed the puncture to happen to save me from an accident or to pray for the guy in the bike shop who I’d have never met otherwise. After all, every opportunity is an opportunity for evangelisation!
And while it cost £18 when money is scarce, again I said “so be it” despite a but of moaning coming from those parts that still don’t trust fully!
So when it happened again on Friday you could say that I was even more prepared and I smiled and said “great, another adventure, let’s see how He sorts this one”!
I had left the bike at Notting Hill this time and taken the tube to Ealing so I only had to walk from Noting Hill tube station to the church…less than 10 minutes.
As I approached our local coffee shop I saw my friends Brenda and Jennifer who also had been at a divine mercy mass. I told them about the bike jokingly and Brenda suggested I fix it myself while Jennifer gave me £5.
I haven’t fixed a puncture for over 10 years, maybe closer to 20 if the truth be known but after a long prayer day I was in the mood to do something with my hands and so was my wallet!!
I bought a bicycle repair kit for £3 and set to work. My grandfather would have been proud of me as memories of my childhood flooded back.
However another problem arose! My pump wasn’t the right fit for the wheel!
“Jesus, you really are making an adventure out of this ” I thought.
Immediately an idea came to me! “Message Marco” who lives in the house and who probably has a pump while at the same time I went to the nearby bike shop to see if I could get an adapter!
The bike shop was a disaster and wanted to sell me a pump for £25!! I’d have sooner blown the tyre up with my mouth than paid £25 for a pump unless it was made of gold.
So returning home I said “Ok, Jesus…what now?!”.
By the time I got home Marco was in the kitchen and he gave me a pump and within 30 minutes I had the bike fixed!
It also gave me the opportunity to catch up with Marco which was a blessing too and as Jennifer had given me £5 and the puncture repair kit cost £3 I’d even made a profit!!
So I used the bike about London all day yesterday and then at about 7pm after evening mass the back tyre was flat again….
Yet I had a great peace and I decided to walk to “Decathlon”, my favourite sports shop and see what they could do!!
And here is where I was blessed again!
Firstly I bought a pump for £4 rather than the £25 pump in Notting Hill.
Secondly a technician looked at the bike and said that the tyres are totally worn and need replacing which to be honest didn’t surprise me.
As Rayne and I plan on going on a bike trip to Stonehenge soon I knew that God was using these punctures to guide me to the shop to fixing up the bike properly.
At times when we are short on money God has to use these little things to convict us and get us to make acts of faith because He sees the bigger picture!
And so you see as I reflect on this bike saga I see God’s sense of humour all over it!
Now He’s got me to fix the tyres and taught me to fix any eventual punctures myself and so I’m properly prepared now for bringing the bike to Stonehenge.
Certainly a WhatsApp message from heaven saying “hey Michael, buy new tyres and learn how to fix a flat” would have been easier but that’s not how God usually works.
He allows little trials and tribulations to teach us how to trust in Him and to make us more and more docile to His ways and His promptings.
At any time we could just get annoyed and say “to hell with this” but what good would that do?
Not to mention all the little acts of trust and faith that little trials like this offer us which we can offer in love to Jesus for the world or for the souls in purgatory or for our own spiritual purification!
So anyway, the moral of the story is simple! No matter what goes wrong always strive to keep your peace and to keep trusting in God regardless of how inconvenient it may be.
If you do lose your peace then come back to Jesus in confession and bring that lack of trust and irritability to Him for forgiveness and for transformation so that one day you can live in perfect peace and trust no matter what should happen.
And who better to help us on this road than her who trusted more than any of us as she saw Jesus die in front of her very eyes?
Mother Mary, help us to trust in Jesus 100%!
Blessings of peace and supernatural trust to all!