Saturday, 6 June 2015

Life, is written with indelible ink.

Well that's what I have heard - we write on the empty pages of the book that is our life with ink that can never be erased. What is writ remains for ever as a mark of our wisdom, compassion, intellect and, of course, folly. The colours of ink used may change and the nib and styles vary with the phases of our life, but all we have are the pages before us to call us on and the pages us behind to inform, console, cheer and admonish.

But regardless of where, or how, we choose to live the pages continue to be filled until the ink runs dry and the hand ceases to write. But each page, every chapter, is but a statement of the then that was once our now. In his book 'The Go-Between' L. P. Hartley gives us some encouragement with the words, 'The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.'

We are not what we eat and are not where we come from: We are not what out nurture or nature has made us nor what our culture or class might have expected. We are the people we choose to be and, more important still, the people we desire to be. The pages before us are blank and the pen is filled and in our hand.

When I look at the journeys others have made and note the twists and turns, the highs and lows; and the peaks and troughs; I often find myself being called, especially as one who claims to be a believer and follower of Jesus, the Christ, upon to read generously. I cannot, I have to confess, always read my own book as generously though and this where the danger lies for we all have scenes in our lives where we, for many reasons, have not be the person we would wish to be remembered as; nor for the acts we might wish to be remembered by!

A colleague I buried a few years back was remembered, almost universally, as being 'someone who could start a fight in a room on their own'! Their book was filled with skirmishes and conflict and the sunny days were few and far between. The end came suddenly and without warning or preparations made (for we all hope for that warm death bed scene with loved ones around us to cheer us tearfully on our way, don't we?) and like a useless ball of wool there were many strands apparent and the knots were tight and many. They had often told me that they 'Had no need of any God for they charted their own course. Those who like me I like and those who will not do as I tell them, I do not like! I'm too old to change now - I am who life, and I, has chosen to make me for good or ill!'

But today, if this is your experience or belief, I have to say that help is at hand for there are new pages and chapters of the book still to be written upon and you can decide to be the hero or the the heel! If the principal character resides in some dark place, if the buildings around them are in ruins and the people broken or far off - there is still time to remedy this and regain the plot and redeem the current scene and set the direction for the rest of you life's tale.

In a Bible reading this week (John 6 - what we in the theology business sometimes call the 'bread discourse' we found people calling upon Jesus to make Himself real in their lives. 'Show us a sign and we will believe,' they cried. But Jesus, being Jesus as I have come to know Him turned to the people and said, 'Believe and you'll see what you desire.'

And herein lies the rub - we seek the actions of others outside of our own body to be the means by which we can effect change in ourselves when, as Jesus so rightly points out, the move towards change comes always from within us. Other may need to respond to our own move (and this often means doing a generous act on their part) but the first step to that new paragraph, page or chapter lies with the person you see before you in the mirror.

So the choice is, as ever, yours - what eyes will you use to view the world before you today?


If you think this is what happens to the lives we have written: Think again!

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