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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

29 October 2014: Dom Clarke - Church leader - St Matthew's, Blackmoor and Whitehill

Being Loved

A few Saturdays ago I took my children to the swimming pool in Guildford where I was shown the enormous diving boards. This was it - the gauntlet had been thrown down. It was my time to show them how brave and courageous a dad I was. My time to shine, as they say, had come.

My eldest climbed the stairs three at a time, walked out to the edge and without pausing flung herself off to a not-so-graceful, but very impressive splash landing. I followed her, got to the edge - and panicked. Only a fool would jump from this height.

My knees began to knock and I was left with only one choice - the worst and most embarrassing walk of shame of my life, as I slowly climbed back down the stairs, letting an eight-year old pass me and take my place. I can still hear my daughter's laughter and sighs of shame ringing in my ears.

Life can often feel like that, as if we are on the edge of a huge leap into unknown danger. We might feel as well that we need to take unnecessary risk or effort to please others or to make ourselves appear braver, stronger, wealthier or more powerful than we really are.

It didn't help me with my diving that day, but faith in God has helped me through numerous more important situations and problems. Knowing most of all that God loves me, accepts me, forgives me and always encourages me, is the greatest gift I know.

The courage shown by Jesus in his short life inspires me hugely, and I think that it could do the same for you too. All we need to get true courage is a relationship formed through prayer, worship and the Bible.

At the end of the day my two daughters didn't care if I dived off that high board or not because they love me. Knowing that you are loved is the greatest feeling of all.

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