Thought for the month August 2023

The e-scooters of Life!

Recently there was a news item on the TV regarding e-bicycles in London reporting on how, when they’ve finished, the people using them -sometimes thoughtlessly sometimes intentionally – leave them in an awkward place and sometimes in the most dangerous places imaginable. Most mornings I go for an early morning walk through the estate where we live in Chelmsford. Every morning without fail I encounter ‘e-scooters’ littering the pathway, this morning I counted ten. Some are parked very sensibly, at the inner edge of the path next to a wall or fence. Other however are not! Some are left strewn across the path, some obstructing lowered curbs designed, for example, for wheelchairs. The estate has a main bus route, a school and is a busy thoroughfare for traffic, especially in mornings and afternoons. If you happen to be in a wheelchair or a mobility scooter, or perhaps you’re a parent with a toddler and a baby in a pushchair and a couple of bags of shopping, these unnecessary stumbling blocks are not only an inconvenience they are potentially dangerous!

Are ‘e-scooters’ such an important subject for a ‘Thought for the Month’?

Of themselves maybe not, but I do wonder if the inconvenience they cause (or should I say some of their riders cause) is not a little symptomatic of life.

How often are we guilty of putting a stumbling block into someone’s life? Do we ever put a stumbling block along the way of someone’s spiritual pathway? If you’re reading this I suspect you won’t have done so intentionally, but have we ever done it thoughtlessly? In our eagerness to speed up our own journey, or make it easier, have we left debris along the way for someone else to trip over?

There are enough stumbling blocks in life without us adding to them and Jesus understood this and was very clear on the subject.

Matthew 18: 6-7 (NRSV)

‘If any of you put a stumbling-block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of stumbling-blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling-block comes!

Paul too wrote on the subject:

Romans 14:13-14 (NRSV)

Do Not Make Another Stumble

13 Let us therefore no longer pass judgement on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling-block or hindrance in the way of another.

By all means, let’s ride an ‘e-scooter’ – but let’s be careful what debris we leave behind!


Lord help us never to be a stumbling block to others

But give us the wisdom and strength

To walk beside one another,

Supporting and encouraging each other

On our spiritual journeys through life.