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Friday, 10 January 2014

Where do I begin?

Where do I begin?

As I am now well and truly entrenched in my 7th decade perhaps it is time to start taking stock of my life. All that it has been and all that it is are well and truly recorded in the annals of eternity. It is also true to say that what is to be will be, that is not fatalism but is true biblical truth. That having been said we are not puppets that have only to be led by God who in heaven pulls on strings that lead and direct us through this web of intrigue or tapestry that we call life.

Human life is God's gift to each one of us as individuals, we are given a character and a will for the short period of time that we inhabit this planet and so the decisions that we make affect the world forever. That may sound a pompous claim but I do believe it to be true. Modern thinking has the idea that each person is an island and can do just as he pleases as long as he does not harm or wrongly influence others. That is a flawed view of reality.

The bible clearly teaches that we are individuals but that we also belong to the community which we call humanity. We belong in different ways and at all times of the day:
  1. We belong to our family. This is a living and developing relationship which one day we will bow out of leaving both memories and influence. I remember with great affection the family into which I was brought up. I was the second child of what would eventually be eight children. I had 2 brothers who died in infancy both of whom have had a profound influence upon my life. It was not until recent years that I have come to understand how the death of a little brother whom I rocked to sleep moments before he died can affect a person even into their sixties. That family is a far cry form the family that I am now pleased to be a part of and from which I will one day depart and leave to stand alone. I am influential within this little family unit and have a great responsibility to them to leave them with more than just a will and a financial inheritance. Financial inheritance I am afraid will never be possible but I would hope that their experience of knowing this poor example of a husband, father and brother will be enriched in some way. As I sit in my chair here at 3:30 am on yet another sleepless night I am both concerned and worried that I will never "step up to the plate" and influence them all for good. I am proud of my family, they are all individuals who are living their lives in the way that they feel is right and proper. Some follow "the faith" and belong to me in another sphere of life, others do not believe but that does not make them any less important or precious to me. Each of them at times do things that both please and disappoint me and the other members of this community that I am pleased to call my family. The purpose of my musings in this little blog is: "How do I end my days in a way that is for the good of my family?"
  2.  We also belong to the community in which we live. I was born above a greengrocers shop next door to the Hen and Chickens pub in the back streets of Coventry. Before I can remember we moved onto a newly built council estate in Tile Hill North Coventry where we lived until I was 12 years old when my parents fulfilled their long term dream of buying their own house. They bought the most delightful and only detached house in Glendower Ave where I lived until I married Pam in 1972. We them moved into the community of Eastcotes, next door to her parents with whom I had a wonderful friendship. We started our own little family unit whilst living there with Jo being born. From there we moved into what affectionately became known as Number 3, this was our dream palace in Oldfield Road and was possibly the place of greatest influence for me. It was also where Elaine and Marie both joined our little family community. Wales beckoned and a call into "The Ministry!!!" (more about that in later musings) and so our community changed once again. Ogmore-by-Sea which is in the most glorious part of South Wales became the family home for about 20 years and then came the move to where we are now living in Looe, Cornwall. All of these places have been the community in which we have lived and in which I have had influence some of it for good and hopefully much less for bad. The point is: will my life on this planet be for the good or the bad of society. I know that I am to many of no significance whatsoever but I am reminded of a story that was once read in school of a man who went back into time. He went to a time before man was created and the earth was green and pleasant. He was able to stand on a prepared platform and just to observe nature before the influence of man. The rule was that he was not to step off the platform. But because he was human (a sinner: more about that later also!) he disobeyed and just put his foot onto the ground for the experience of doing so whereupon he stood on and killed a butterfly. Inconsequential we might think but when he returned back home to 1970's Britain he found out that Hitler had won the war and that from now on home life would be very different. Ray Bradbury who wrote the short story I believe had a good understanding as to the importance of every step that we take in like. The insignificant things that we do all have an important knock on effect, therefore how should I live to the end of my days for the benefit of the community to which I belong?
I have now managed to wake Pam up by my absence from sleeping quarters (yet another example of how we affect others by the actions that we take!) and so I ought to stop my musings for the moment and continue at another stage when I will maybe consider some of the other communities that I fnd myself belonging to. If anybody stumbles over this madness of mind that I am committing to electronic ink please forgive me and do not let it have any negative influence over you.

Next time I ought to consider such things as my place in the work community, the community of my education, the community of faith, commerce and commercial dealings, the pleasuredome and maybe also the influence that these comminities have had on me . 

Before I complete for tonight it is important for me to say that as this is my Pastor's blog; it is fully my intention to consider how all of these things can be for the glory of our Saviour who has not only given me human life and responsibility but also has given me spiritual life and a new community to live in. That is the community of faith or as it is better know "the Church."

Good night for now.

I do not know what lies ahead
I do not know what lies ahead,
the way I cannot see;
yet One stands near to be my guide,
He’ll show the way to me:

I know who holds the future,
and He’ll guide me with His hand;
with God things don’t just happen,
everything by Him is planned.
So as I face tomorrow,
with its problems large and small,
I’ll trust the God of miracles,
give to Him my all.

I do not know how many days
of life are mine to spend;
but One who knows and cares for me
will keep me to the end:

I know who holds the future, ...
I do not know the course ahead,
what joys and griefs are there;
but One is near who fully knows,
I’ll trust His loving care:

    I know who holds the future, ...