... is easier said than done!
I've been in one of those profound (well it seems so at the time, until i forget what i was actually thinking!) thinking moods today. It's weird when you find cliches actually applying to your life- what I mean in partic is how easy it is to get caught up in the trivialities of life and miss what life's really about. It's the 60th Anniversary of the end events of WWII atm, and there was the first in a series of magazines on them in the paper this w/e, mainly on the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I was flicking thru it today and started chatting with my Grandpa about it (he and Grandma were over for lunch)- it made it hit home a lot more talking to someone who was not only alive during those events, but who's life could have been dramatically different depending on the unfolding of the events- for example if the bombings hadn't have happened he may have gone to Japan (he was a Captain at this stage) to fight (the bombings were the deciding factor on Japanese surrender) and who knows what could've happened. He said something along the lines of he hoped people today wouldn't get themselves in the same situation [of war], but what made me take that seriously was that he was speaking from experience... It reminds me of one of the reasons I started getting more into history- in year 10 after looking at WWII- not just the events but about the lives of people who were there- I felt that I had a responsibility (not in the terms of obligation, but that I owed it to them) to learn about those things- the lives of those people (that was a roundabout sentance, hopefully it made sense!). Although I don't think it's a good thing to dwell on the past, I also think that particularly this generation can be prone to living in blind ignorance of the past- I know I feel I do at times. There's some proverb in the Bible about a fool learning from a wise man's mistakes, I guess it's the same principle. Older people who've weathered more seasons of life (and if that sounds patronising I don't mean it to!!) than us youngins can teach us many unexpected things.
Also, I remember when I was driving home from the PAC formal when we were in all our finery looking out of the window and seeing a couple of homeless people asleep at a bus shelter. It opens your eyes- it can be easy enough to distance ourselves from the poverty of third world countries, but there are people right under our noses here in Adelaide who we could so easily help and don't... Guess that's the good thing about things like the Winter Sleepout! Where's basic respect gone for the people around us?
Dan and Phili spoke at Cafe Church this morning, and although I wasn't there lol, I read their notes (and hence credit some of these thoughts to them ;o) and one thing stuck, made me think - with the 'Jesus. All About Life' campaign starting tomorrow, although on the one hand I have been getting excited about it because it's hopefully going to provide heaps of opportunities to be able to share about my faith, on the other it's challenged me as well. We're supposed to be proclaiming the evidence of Jesus in our own lives, but where is Jesus in mine? Particularly growing up in a Christian family I've "done" church my whole life so I know what to say, pray, act etc. but, not to discredit church because that's been vital to my faith actually growing and staying on, you can be as 'religious' as you like and still not really live like you have a faith in God. I don't really feel worthy or qualified to be talking about Jesus in my life when I feel like I so don't reflect him sometimes. But then the whole point of Christianity is that we don't earn our way to a relationship with God (Jesus had to cop the punishment for our turning away from God, so that we could have relationship with Him...easy to prattle off, but what does it mean?), or heaven- in fact it's when we're at our weakest that God can be strongest in our lives because it can be easier to accept Him then, rather when life's all fine and dandy! As it says in Ephesians 2:8,9
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast."
Also a song we sung tonight at church- 'Believe' by Donna Lasit- read carefully!
I say on Sunday how much I want revival
But then my Monday, I can't even find my Bible
Where's the power
The power of the cross in my life
I'm sick of playing the game of religion
I'm tired of losing my reason for living
Where's the power
The power of the cross in my life
I'm not content just to walk through my life
Giving into the lies
Walking in compromises now
We cry out as a generation that was lost
But now is found in the power of the cross
I'm not satisfied doing it my own way
I'm not satisfied to do church and walk away
I'm not satisfied, there's no love in my life but You
I'm not satisfied living in yesterday's hour
I'm not satisfied to have the form, but not the power
I'm not satisfied, Oh Lord I am crucified in You
Those words are just so true for me at the moment. Throughout my life, through all of my turnings away from God, failing Him, and coming back to Him, God/Jesus/the Bible (all God really) has been the only real thing in my life. The only lasting thing with true substance, real meaning. The only thing that will fill that hole in my heart. The only thing that will last for eternity, the truest, purest form of love and life. It puts things in perspective- the things that matter in life aren't money or appearance or grades or whatever, though they do have their place- it's how we live our lives and the relationships we have with people that really matters. So whoever's reading this, and I ask myself as well, where is God in your life? Are you reflecting or proclaiming Jesus in your life? Are you satisfied?
Sounds a bit like a sermon :oP sorry bout that... This is getting a bit long, and I have schoolio tomorrow (yahoo...), so night! :o)