Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Exo Fishoil*

What a weird day today has been as struggling to see by the light of God's amazing light, reside within His love and bask in His Grace and mercy as the day now passed starts to unfold and I find myself in that place where I can thank God for all the things that pass by as I unpack the day, and as I do I ask myself:
Where did I take the opportunity to be a blessing?     Where were the missed opportunities?
Where did I do it wrong?    Did I help people?       Did I wound others?       Did I take or miss opportunities for growth?

Today has been, as ever, a mixed bag. I decided to be a bit robust and draw some lines, something we just don't do in the Christian world, we strive to be nice and yet without the odd moment of friction there can be no fire! The problem is that people often just perceive this as you being grouchy but as I look into the eyes of Jesus I see love and steel, shouldn't that be true of me also?

Was this right? Yes, I think so, because many tell me how unhappy they are with the things around them and yet will never take it to the source of their discontent. I steadfastly refuse to be the tennis ball in the contest between them, but I'm also commanded to approach those who are in error and restore them 'gently' in case I sin myself. I don't think I did, I was honest, open and factual - with the facts I had and went back and made sure I knew what I was doing and what the situation was so I could move on - so not a total win or loss I guess.

Engaged with someone I'd wounded and came to a place of peace, which is a joy, for we can never leave wounds open and differences ignored. Too often we seem to have people looking the other way or refusing to dialogue and call that 'peace' - it's not, it's passive conflict and the maintenance of our own attitudes, arrogance, ignorance and ourself considered to be right. What Would Jesus Do? A naff, overused, much abused question, rarely asked or applied - how often do we ask: "Who is there that condemns you?" Of them and of us.

Blessings found in the small encounters and the small, almost missed, things of the day. The conversation, the unexpected smile, the opportunity to catch something precious in the form of those around me before they fall to the ground. Been a good day, not without pain, the frustrations that comes from no longer being a kid and the distinct feeling that Church, the CofE especially, labels you as 'yesterday's man' as it strives for the young and (sadly) the (un)able in its clamouring to be relevant and halt decline.

Resolving the need of a consumer society by giving them what they want rtaher than what they need (and isn't the answer always Jesus?) by turning our services into things which tickle the ears rather than break the heart - that's my opportunity for tomorrow (which has become already my new today) - opportunities, meetings, stumbling blocks to be avoided - Thank You Lord for the things to come and sorry for the things that have been that shouldn't have and the thinks that you placed before me - let's do it all agin when I awake, eh?

* oh yeah, it's ex officio, there's no fish oil anywhere in it!


UKViewer said...

Those wonderful words 'Pastoral Care' now used widely outside the Church to describe how you look after people in business and work places. Or in social care situations.

It's an aspect of our lives, which we are commanded to exercise with care, .kindness, tolerance and patience (and forgiveness). It can be a struggle some times, but your comment about making the peace and healing wounds point to more than just saying sorry - it's a need for a genuine, contrite admission of our failings, and a prayer of repentance and confession for our actions that have disturbed God's peace.

Easier said than done in many cases, particularly where the will on the other side is still set on conflict - but perseverance and patience and prayer, will normally overcome - in time.

God gives us the tools - we need to use them constantly.

Vic Van Den Bergh said...