Another working week done. The apocalyptic weather the Met Office had forecasted for Friday did not arrive until twelve hours later than predicted, allowing me to complete the week's scheduled round of work and finish for the weekend. Then earlier today (Saturday) I was off for my weekly dose of the sauna, a wonderful antithesis to the stresses of the week.
Such as when my General Practitioner (medical doctor) decided to reduce my wife's prescription. Whether this is normal procedure in the treatment of patients or, as the Media has been suggesting, a money-saving scheme as a result of National Health Service reform imposed by our present Government, I cannot say. However, an appointment with the doctor for next week should, I hope, clear things up. A normal procedure to wean the patient off drugs should, of course, be the norm for any doctor to carry out. However, with a reduced intake of prescribed medicine, my dear beloved has suffered relapses in her illness which I have found particularly distressing - and wondering whether she will end up being taken by ambulance back to Accident & Emergency at Reading Royal Berks Hospital once again.
No doubt, the NHS was, and is, a brilliant idea. For the benefit of readers outside the UK, it was started by the Labour Government in 1948, it is funded by National Insurance, a tax paid by every income earner to form a national public purse to enable those who cannot pay for private hospitals to receive treatment. Over the years, both my wife and I have much to thank them for. Yet, with her present prescription reduced, together with her relapse, I have been wondering if they were putting money above her welfare as a patient. This, after reading the papers as well as watching news bulletins that certain types of drugs are withheld or have limited use to save money. And what I find so annoying is that a rich person can make just one call to a private hospital and he will be instantly admitted and given hotel-rate accommodation, not to mention all the constant attention from the medics. Likewise with any celebrity, whether sportsman, actor, singer, writer, performer, or a member of the Royals, they will always be given preferential treatment.
It is with these things that I can feel discouraged and down-hearted. This, I think, is why I let out a blast at the English class system so often in these blogs. Preference. The bestowing of greater importance on one person over another. In our language we even have the initials VIP - very important person, and I couldn't help feeling bemused a few years ago when I walked past the entrance of London Zoo at Regents Park, and I saw the VIP entrance separated from the main entrance used by everyone else, and I have wondered whether if any of the animals in captivity would be any more impressed if, for example, the Mayor of London was gawking at them as he sauntered by!
Although I have wished I have done a lot better at school, and found myself working as a microbiologist in a research laboratory instead of as a self-employed window cleaner - I am thankful to God that he has given as all magnificent brains with not only to make decisions and solve problems mathematically - various things no other species of animal has the capacity of doing - but with the ability to store up information long after we had left school and passed our final exams. I have to admit my gratefulness to such academics for making the results of their research and discoveries public. One of the branches of science I find so intriguing is the study of the cell, particularly its nucleus and the genome.
We have discovered that the nucleus of every cell in the human body (except the red blood cells) has a nucleus containing 46 chromosomes, 23 from each parent, each one containing deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, which resembles a long winding ladder with each rung, or nucleotide, consisting of pairs of nucleobase - guanine, adenine, thymine, and cytosine - with adenine pairing up with thymine, and guanine with cytosine. In a human cell, Chromosome 1, the longest being over 80mm in length, has nearly 247,200,000 nucleotides, that is the "rungs" of the "ladder." Each nucleotide must be arranged in a certain order in very much the same way as a binary code runs a computer program. If one of the nucleotides is malfunctioning, or at a wrong place, the cell will die.
This is a very simplified version of what is otherwise a lengthy study. But the reality of DNA which contains the genetic code inherited from our parents is absolutely staggering! It is a vastly complex structure, each nuclotide being in its correct order and sequence that is needed for the cell to live and function. I, for one, can't help but give glory to God our Creator. Surely, evolution by chance coming up with such a vast complexity as this would be a stretch of the imagination, not to mention that the age of the entire Universe cannot wait for such a structure to develop without divine intervention. This, I think, why God has given us the capacity to learn about ourselves -to recognise that we have a Heavenly Creator whose will is for us humans to partake in and enjoy the love existing between Father Son and Holy Spirit.
It looks to me that our very cellular makeup with its highly complex genome system testifies of God's love for us as individuals, and as we are all equal in his sight, yet everyone of us is born with a sinful nature which deserves judgement, yet he commands everyone of us to repent, that is to say, to change our minds about Jesus Christ, and believing him to be our risen Saviour and Lord. The Gospel is here at one with science. Just as the complex genome system found in all human cells have no respect for social class or status, so likewise the Gospel is the same for all classes - to believe in Jesus Christ as Saviour and be saved from the penalty of our sins.
Although the English in particular generally adore their Majesty the Queen, and no doubt, if anything happens to her health, the doctors will rush at her aid without delay - yet it may be surprising to some that God allows the monarch to exist because of our sinful natures, as well as establishing authorities as a means to keep evil in check. The truth is, after existing for several hundred years as a Theocracy - that means under God's direct rule - the whole nation of Israel approached the seer Samuel to ask for a king to lead them and fight their battles (1 Samuel 8.) God was actually displeased with Israel's request, but after bidding the prophet to warn the nation of the consequences in having a king, at the end God complied, and Israel became a kingdom for the first time in its history, with the annointing of its first king, Saul.
In later years, Israel's kings were particularly hard on their subjects. King Solomon, the son of David was very demanding, according to 1Kings 12:12-16, when King Rehoboam, Solomon's son and heir to the throne, announced to his subjects that he will be much harsher than his father was. Israel's period as a kingdom was a trying time, which pushed further home their distrust in God as their King, and towards their eventual ruin by exile into Babylon under their new pagan ruler Nebuchadnezzar.
Our Queen, of course, is nothing like Solomon, Rehoboam or Nebuchadnezzar. Instead, for the last sixty years since her enthronement, she has served her country well, earning the respect the nation owed her. But although she had served the country well, as a nation, the attitude of her subjects shows the same lack of trust in God as ancient Israel demonstrated. For centuries, the British had always looked to their monarch as not only the nation's leader, but also as an intercessory between the nation and God, very much as the Pope is the in-between before God for the Catholic Church. I believe that it is having the Queen as Head of State, and the pageantry that follows every time she steps onto the street, or is seen in public sitting in her coach, that acts as a base rock for the social class system with its pecking order of preferences.
But our intricate body structure, with our magnificent cell and genome system, our health and wellbeing testifies of the universal creation and love of God, who has no favouritism, no pecking order, no national or cultural class stratum. This is endorsed in Scripture which says that whoever despises a poor man despises the God who made him. Jesus himself had always respected the poor and needy and had no hesitation to minister to them and to meet their needs - as well as proclaiming to them the Kingdom of God, and their willingness to enter.
And also knowing how much God loves the church as a corporate body, each congregation making up the body and bride of Christ. Therefore isn't it most important that every individual believer within the Body of Christ should treat each other as equals, without any pecking order of any kind. In the church there should be no snobbery, no academic preferences, no social class, no nationalism, no preferences for any political party, no greater respect for those in the professions. We as a body of believers are as equal to each other as each cell is equal to each other in our bodies, regardless to what part of the body the cell is serving.
And maybe it's time for the NHS to learn the same thing about discrimination between patients. After all, their doctors and staff know about the workings of the genome than most of the rest of us.