Life in all its fullness.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

This term our church is taking a sort of 'sabbatical'. After five years of new initiatives and hard work, seeking to love and bless those around us, it seemed that folk were rather tired and a bit jaded. We had, perhaps, overdone it, at the expense of our own wellbeing.

This season is being called, variously "Pause and Pray" or "Be Still" - the latter after this verse from Psalm 46:

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Recently, with this in mind, I have been thinking quite a lot about life, and 'busy-ness'. Modern life is, undeniably, terribly busy. Thirty years or so ago, we were all led to believe that the advent of computers and other modern 'laboursaving' technology, would usher in an era of relative ease. That has, assuredly, not been the case; most of us are busier than ever - slaves of our careers, the clock, computers and other machines.

And Christians are, perhaps, amongst the 'worst offenders'. Not only are a lot of Christians (certainly in our church) in 'high-powered' careers, but they're also driven by compassion and a love for their fellow person to show love and care for those around them, perhaps less fortunate than they are. That makes for a terribly busy life, with almost no real 'downtime'... I am particularly bad at this - I am great at being busy, but somewhat guiltily feel that ‘downtime’ is ‘time-wasting’. I need to learn to ‘be’ rather than just to ‘do’.

What price "...life in all its fullness." and "Be still..."? Where did all that go? How do we get it back - and yet still care for others, as we feel compelled to do? How are we meant to live life to the full when bombarded with all the demands of modern life?

At this point, I have no real, definite, answers which are sustainable for the long-term, but I think the question has to be asked.

I am starting in a small way by trying to carve out a bit of time each day to just stop and ‘be’... See the flowers; listen to the birds; enjoy the sunshine; see ‘the hand of God’ in our world. My camera helps - it makes me take the time to look around me properly. But there is a danger there too - of being overtaken by a feeling of ‘I must get a good photo’, and of putting my effort into that instead of enjoying ‘being’.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

Copyright Phil Hendry, 2021