Tuesday, 27 January 2009

30 years: the low points

It won't take a genius to see the link with my previous post on things to be thankful for at reaching 30.

However, as promised, and for the sake of balance, as I look back at my life thus far here are some of the aspects which are not to be celebrated, but looked at soberly.

1) Tragedy: My 19 year old university friend, Jon, died of meningitis. I was out with him on the Friday night, by the Sunday night he was in a coma. I never said goodbye. My Cousin, Aidan, in his early forties, took his own life leaving a wife and 4 children. Sam, an old youth group member died aged 21 on a night out in Greece. Friends who have miscarried, or the loss of a small child. The raw sadness when people die "before their time" is the fiercest gut-wrenching sense of loss.

2) Gossip and misrepresentation: It is such a sad thing, to know a situation, to see how people have acted, and then to see how their actions are misrepresented to others. How loose tongues spread news and cause hurt. One of the key things I look for in anyone with any responsibility in Church is their discretion. If someone tells me something I should not know about someone else then I take a step back from letting them know much about me. Gossip is a killer, it breaks relationship and rots trust.

3) Marital breakdown: Broken relationships are so exceedingly sad, especially when children are involved. It is just so dark, and feels so hopeless. When someone dies you grieve and slowly move on. Relationship breakdowns are long term and can be an ongoing cause of real heartache for those involved.

4) Falling away: Very, very close Christian friends of mine have fallen away from an active faith. People I have prayed with and worshipped with. People who have cared for me and encouraged me. I would like to say some have just given up on Church but it appears some may have given up on God altogether, for now.

5) Differences: We hear so much about "unity" but is it a reality? My instinct is where there is relationship then the chances of unity are much greater. It feels like people say they "want" unity, but don't have space for you to believe what you do, express worship the way you do and do church the way you do. Therefore the joint expression of faith together becomes neutered to the lowest common denominator, so as not to offend other Christians, while the rest of the world walks by wondering who on earth we are. Real genuine unity: loving each other more than ourselves, sharing resources, engaging on mission together, praying for one another, standing with one another in times of trial, and engaging without our community together. That is something to live for. But I am content to just crack on with what God has given us to do here, and if at any point we can join with other people cracking on then brilliant.

6) Mission: There are 70,000 people in this town. On Sundays church attendance does not break 2,000. 68,000 is a lot of people. I know church attendance and faith are not always directly correlated, but even so, it gives an indicator. There is so, so much more to do.

God is good, all the time. Yet life can be a bit of a trial, so I am pleased to be on a journey with Him, and that His grace is sufficient for all these things, however tough they are.

1 comment:

Jongudmund said...

Didn't mention relegation to the conference... how unspiritual.