Tag Archives: self

If I Could Walk Away From Jesus!

As we near Holy Week, and all that means for the Christian community, I wonder if might share with you one more story about my personal discipleship. As I have journeyed with Jesus these past 25 years. I have often wondered if the grass is greener on the otherside, if this life of faith is truly worth it?

Is the self denial and sacrifice of so called holy living all really necessary? As I strive to live towards a calling of loving your neighbour as myself and loving God with equal measure.  I wondered from time to time what I would look like as a non-Christian. Whether indeed life would be ‘better’ and more easy! Perhaps I would have less hangups, perhaps also I would be less bothered about other people, and more bothered about what I can get out of life, rather than give and invest in other peoples lives.

There is a story I tell, from the pulpit of a stonecutter, there are probably many variations of this story but here is the one I tell. There is a man who cut stone for a living, he is a stonecutter. He delivers some stone one day to a mansion, he looks at the vast house, and wishes to live there, and if by magic a big voice from heaven says “let it be so.” And so the stonecutter wakes up in a luxurious mansion, with people to wait on his every need. One day the stonecutter is driving in his limousine, the sunshine through the window causing him to squint and is not be able to see the way ahead. He realises that the sun is very powerful, and wishes to be the sun. And a voice from heaven declares “let it to be so.” The stonecutter becomes the sun and shines in all his brilliance warming the earth below and casting light throughout the Galaxy. He notices however that no matter how hard he tries he cannot break through cloud, and so the stonecutter wishes to be a cloud! A big voice from heaven declares “let it be so.” And so the stonecutter becomes a cloud, this seemed a good idea first and then he realised he was being pushed around by the wind. He quickly wished to be the wind. And a big voice from heaven declared. “let it be so.”

As the wind the stonecutter had quite a lot of fun, blowing over houses and people, twirling leaves in the street, blowing snow into huge drifts taller than houses, churning up a rough seas of gigantic waves. The stonecutter thought it was brilliant being the wind he’d found something he loved, however whilst he was the wind he was blowing one day against rock, and no matter how hard he blew the rock would never move. It wouldn’t budge an inch. In a very annoyed voice the stonecutter pronounced I wish I could be a rock. And as a rock he proudly looked out across the valley, as people came and went, as climbers climbed up his face, as couples grew old and children grew up. It was a contented experience he felt at peace. Until one day, he heard a Chipping noise and he noticed a man with a small hammer and chisel, digging into his stonework. There’s nothing he could do, except to say, I wish I could be a stonecutter!

No matter how the stonecutter longed to be something else, he ended up being the person he was meant to be. He took a long journey, to real self-discovery. Regardless of how grumpy I get with God, or temporarily want to walk away. I come back to the truthful reality of my self-discovery, and that I am a believer, I am a christian, no matter where are I am, or where I might end up. I belong to Jesus and it’s him I follow.

May your personal discovery of who you are, not cost you too much, or be too painful. But as you journey remember you are made in the image of the living God, who knows you and loves you.

God Bless and God Speed

The Self Sufficiency Lie

PostImage_VirginHolidays_TropicalIsland-1

My dream island would look something like the picture above, peaceful, with beautiful beaches and the bliss of doing nothing but relax, catch some fish to eat on a log fire and then go back to relaxing not needing anything from anyone, being in two words self sufficient. Something we all work hard at being whether on an island or in an office.

Being self sufficient is so appealing, its more than financial stability, but that outward posture of being “fine”,”great” or as one of my congregation says Champion even when he has quietly had a hospital visit for an operation!

Perhaps you have seen the movie About A Boy where a character played by Hugh Grant believes that man is an island, much like the above picture, calm, knows what he is about. Yet as Hugh’§s character discovers, ultimately he is utterly alone as much as this island is alone, a small dot in an ocean and is a place fairly inaccessible with limited access too outside amenities.

People in all walks of life pressent to the world and God an image of self sufficiency, and if they are inquired upon usually say ” I’m fine”, “great” or “I’m champion.”

How many of us including myself find that if we are unsure of something, like a spelling or a technical question, we don’t ask a human for fear of ridicule or embarrassment. Instead our goto places can be, Apples Siri or google search, they don’t point jokes at our lack of understanding or learning and they can’t knock our fragile egos. So our self sufficient veneer remains intact.

This strategy works to a point, but (dare I say it?) Siri makes mistakes, the IOS dictation software is totally inconsistent and even google makes errors! Within all this God sees us, sees me, trying to waffle my way through, choosing other words in this post because the dictation software is not that great and I cannot spell it, no matter how much I shout the word at the screen.

The song by Mat Redman The Heart Of Worship sums it up, when all is said and done, we come as we are before God, with all pretence and tricks to succeed stripped away. Are you willing to be rather than self sufficient, reliant on God, on the help of good friends and colleagues. Or my wife who checks my mistakes when I write stuff, not because I am insufficient or stupid, but because she loves me and wants to help me in an area of weakness.

Let’s foster an atmosphere wherever we are, whether in our family or work, where we allow each other to admit to when they are not great at something, without ridicule or laughter or causing them personal embarrassment and shame. and find ways to enable that person, rather than forcing them or me to scuttle behind our facade of self sufficiency,

Take a look at this link to the song The Heart Of Worship and spend some time with the Lord on the areas of self sufficiency in your lives.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BvXi1JACxQ&index=18&list=PLFF54yto1k3QUOvEs7zqCX7Zntd9qwJfG

Prayer Time

God, help me to be less self sufficient and more reliant on you, and those you have put in my life to bless me. Finally Lord help me to have the grace to help others in need without judgement but because of love.

Amen

 

 

 

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