All good things must come to an end and My Living Faith Journey course has finished.
However I don’t think my journey has even really begin……
I have been meeting with a really nice man who has been tasked with helping me discern. That’s C of E code for laying awake in the wee small hours trying to work out what it is that God actually needs me to be doing next – if anything?
I have been given suggested books to read – Tim Keller The Prodigal God that literally set me on fire with enthusiasm. You see being an expat brat ( technical term for those who grew up abroad. Honest!) I have long struggled with the whole cultural thing of the father running to greet his younger son. And before you all shout at your screens I know who Jesus was telling his story too and they would have understood his meaning but it still narked me a bit.
Seeing the two sons in relation to people within our church – deanery – diocese has also been an eye opener, myself included.
There really are those who expect results for their faithfulness in a “HE OWES ME” kind of way. I think there is a little bit of the older brother in us all. Not that any of us will be pleased to hear that. Perhaps the older brother in us may stop us breaking with traditions in our church, lead us to stick with what is safe and easy for us, thinking that it doesn’t matter as long we stick to the rules, do as we are asked but do we?
We ARE called to Love one another. Not just those who are like us.
Are we as elder brothers missing what we are commanded to do? Are we being so pious we are missing the very people who Jesus cared for?
It’s all very well living a good life but are we, at any point, sharing why we do this with people? For who we do this?
I talked myself into a challenge during our meeting. I talk about God and or the church quite opening but rarely actually say JESUS when I am talking. Its one of my weaknesses thinking I am not worth to say his name out loud.
By discussing Jesus you instantly bring the conversation or topic to a heart level, especially when talking to non or new believers. God can seem far away but Jesus could be the man sat next to you. It makes everything far more personal and indeed at times you can understand in more depth as you imagine Jesus having the same human emotions we have.
But lets not forget the younger son – we are like him too.
We know and are safe in the knowledge that God will welcome us back with open arms regardless. BUT IS THAT ENOUGH should we get away that lightly. Should we not repent before this happens?
The younger son did repent – he at his lowest point sat in the pig sty (I still struggle with pigs in this context but appreciate it was the lowest of the low) he had nothing, he was in the depth of despair, but he knew by returning to his father and offering to be a slave not even a servant , he would at least have a roof over his head and food as he remembered how his father treated his staff. He didn’t expect to be welcomed back with open arms and with a fattened calf.
That sad, quiet moment when he cried out in despair for his father was the moment we have all had, when things are so tough, we turn our thoughts to Jesus in despair, pleading for help.
So we are both sons.
The lesson for me was to be more aware of those around me not, to judge people’s actions or indeed lack of actions but to be more aware of who Jesus would have been drawn to in society and to STILL try to find my purpose in all of this.
I started with choices. I am rather impatient by nature, one of my growing edges, and I wasn’t really ready for the amount of time that this process may take. So I have made the choice to apply to take an ALM course in Pastoral Care. And to join a Sussex Gospel Partnership course to expand on my bible knowledge. Both things that I hope will make me a better person with more to offer.
SO I am afraid you stuck with me blogging for a little bit longer.