Thought for the Day - Rev Rob Marshall
I realised at a very early age that my skin and the sun would never quite get on. A shock of ginger hair and erupting freckles always meant that as soon as the sun’s rays appeared, I had to run for cover and watch, with a certain amount of resentment and acceptance, whilst my friends frolicked, tanned and generally looked marvellous.
So I can understand, but am nevertheless appalled by the statistics revealed yesterday that in some areas, up to 40% of teenagers, between the ages of 11-17 use a sun bed every week. Many of these children, according to Cancer Research, are using coin operated tanning booths without any supervision and putting themselves at much greater risk of skin cancer in the future.
Sun beds provide an instant, though, if not used correctly, potentially dangerous answer, to the constant marketing pressure of look good, tanned, healthy, feel great.
Whether or not we like the colour or type of our skin, it is undeniable that it largely defines who we are and what we look like, and that we have both to accept it and look after it. And, of course, it is our skin, and the way it looks, which can be the first catalyst to racial abuse or other forms of prejudice.
There is between 12 and 20 feet of skin stretched over the average person’s frame and it is about 70% water – with the rest being mainly protein.
The Bible makes frequent reference to our bodies being a mixture of bones, skin and everything else which lies behind and between the two. “I am nothing but skin and bones” the prophets are heard to say and there is an underlying theme in all of the books of the Bible that the body, made up of skin and bones, is, for sure, only a temporary vehicle in which we travel through our lives.
But, and this is the key, as our bodies gets older, become more wrinkly and decay, it is the spirit, the mind and the soul – which becomes more important/.When we then eventually leave behind our ravaged skin and creaking bones, which so preoccupy and delude us in life, we are transformed into a yet more glorious state. There is nothing ultimately we can do to change the way we are or look. Because who we are, is about much more than that!
As we look forward to a glorious weekend of weather in most parts of the country, Neil Young’s clever song about what God was thinking about when he made each of us sums it up- Was he thinking about my country, Or the colour of my skin; Was he thinking about my religion, And the way I worshipped him?”
The lyrics sum up that God was thinking about you being you and me being me and suggesting that we should always rejoice in that – whether, as in my case, you have freckles or not!
Available since: Tue 12 Apr 2011
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