Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Grand Hope of Life

It seems vexing to most people what the ‘meaning of life’ is about. It’s surprisingly hard to work out. There’s often very little link between justice and reality and the point of life. For some, life is too long; but others have it far too short. In between, we are forgiven for questioning our purpose.

Let me put it plainly:

The grand hope of this life is the hope of eternal peace in the life following.

Thinking about that statement, we might mistakenly think this life is a waste of time; a waste of hope. But maybe this life provides meaning for the next life. Besides, we have it all to look forward to—a reality, then, that puts this reality completely into insignificance (although what we do here is never insignificant).

Whatever we think of life in the here and now, there is a hope that we can only ponder from here; a hope promised in the Bible, sure, but also a hope of all our deepest hearts: that life will one day make sense.

This, we can only hope, is that eternal hope of peace in the following life.

Attaching such a future and distant hope to this life makes this life all the more liveable, especially if we’ve committed to taking this life truthfully.


This grand hope that’s in our scope here is not the only hope. Indeed, most people—sad as it is—don’t even realise it as a hope; or worse, refuse to. Many people place their hopes in the transient, fleeting pleasures that are firmly set as the treasures of this life. So be it. At least they are seen, felt, touched, heard and tasted.

But what is unseen is eternal, and the flash of light that represents this life is quickly gone; rendered insignificant apart from the purposes of Judgment.

The strangest thing is the more we pin our hopes on the grand hope, the more God shows us about the nature of this next life that is but the-vacancy-of-breath away.


What more might be said?

What positive encouragements and reinforcements to sow into this grand hope exist?

It’s a risk to partake. We risk our time (which is given to us anyway), perhaps our popularity and the perceptions of our friends, and even those assets that embody our hopes today. But those sorts of risks are not large and onerous; not considering the weight of glory that resides in hoping for eternal peace, and an answer regarding the real meaning of this life.

This grand hope will only be important to us if the truth is, equally, important.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Graphic Credit: His Dream by Duchesse-2-Guermante.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hitting the Ground Running

In the recruitment ‘space’ all employers are looking for staff who can hit the ground running. But that’s not what this is about. Realising our deepest, most elusive goal is about hitting the ground running with positivity, excitement, life—to shut out the darkness of previous failures with a million lux of light!

Initially, a decision and then resolve are the matters of the day. No good complaining when we got work to do, as Bryan Adams would say.

Up, Up and Away!

Imagining ourselves as a passenger aircraft, and our journey to the achievement of the goal as a long haul trip, we’ve pushed off and have taxied to our takeoff point, fresh to embark on something both wonderful and scary.

With orders to throttle up, the idling drone of those huge jet engines transforms into a high-pitched whine oozing power; the thrust catapults us along the tarmac—equivalent to our first few days from embarking toward the goal. And we need every bit of thrust we can muster for the steepness of the climb in the early going.

Soon, however, there is the predicted turbulence as we climb through the early stratosphere; temptations to buckle and crash land becoming evident. It’s hard to maintain the poise to continue to steadily climb.

But the good pilot steadies the craft and keeps it climbing toward cruising altitude. (It doesn’t matter at this stage the amount of previous crash lands we’ve endured.)

Soon enough we are there—enjoying the pleasantries of life at cruising altitude. We have time now to reflect, and to enjoy something to mark what we have achieved thus far.

Before we get too comfortable Air-Traffic Control confirms: we are to commence our descent—time to land.

Achieving Our Goal – Landing Well

Weight loss is perhaps the most salient example, worldwide, of something akin to air flight: we take the entire trip really well, achieve our goal, and then we land only to lose our bearing. We don’t hit the ground running.

To hit the ground running is a military metaphor; as the chopper lands in hostile territory those soldiers better be ready to hit the ground running... Enemy fire is sure to meet them. Quick movement and wits about them are their best chance.

It’s the same for us. Our best ally is our conscious mind, geared and ready to fight the good fight that is already well advanced.

Too many times, perhaps, we’ve given up good ground for a swamp of a promise—to revisit ‘just for a moment’ that forlorn territory. As soon as we got there we realised we had again been duped.

Not this time!

The only limitation, the only barrier, to continuing that blessed path we’ve already begun is a forgetful mind, a weak, deceived or overbearing conscience, or a misaligned focus.

Life can seem long and maintenance is now the goal; we must hit the ground running one day at a time. Breaking that down, we must manage our thinking one moment at a time.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Popularity Doesn’t Matter

Ambition gets the best of us in a world of comparison breeding envy. We market ourselves to fit our niche, and we try so hard, but we understand very little about the impossibility of achieving these sorts of goals. For instance, the dog-eat-dog world exemplifying competition—winners and losers—doesn’t fit with God’s master plan.

Popularity is quite an unreasonable hope. Not everyone, and not even most, will ever be satisfied with their levels of achievement in comparison with what they preconceived regarding popularity.

In this sense it doesn’t matter—what we achieve and what we don’t. Life is really too short for us to be tricked into counting how many gum nuts we’ve collected. Taking pride in our collection of gum nuts will give very little real satisfaction.

Popularity and Pride

Pride has a hollow ring to it. Only the most superficial of persons—and none of us, I suspect, will enjoy considering ourselves as superficial—will rest easy, satisfied in their pride.

Popularity and pride are truly synonymous; unless we’re blessed enough to be popular yet we can just as easily live without it.

Television reality shows have been a spectacle of popularity and pride; the best of these shows capture rare essences of humanity that touch each one of us (essences, by the way, that have nothing to do with popularity). The worst of television reality shows is the clamour for recognition on the part of participants, coupled with the envying intrigue of Mr. And Mrs. John Doe sitting at home imagining what it would be like to be in that world, what they’d receive, could they do it etc.

Like the other seven deadly sins, pride entangles us more than we realise.

And yes, even (especially even) Christians are entwined in the rat race of popularity; let’s listen to ourselves as we speak about our churches, our favourite pastors, best preachers etc.

When we realise that pride is a trick and popularity is merely a symptom of pride, we can set about rejecting it as a folly taking us away from the true sense of inner joy.

What Matters

The stuff of life that we struggle to see, that which has eternal value, is the opposite of popularity. In fact, if we ran from anything regarding popularity—the pull to be fashionable, successful, known or famous, funny, pretty or handsome etc—in sensible ways, we would know more about the value of the eternal. We might begin to see more poverty, more suffering, and more need in our world around us. We might begin to see more relevance; things that actually matter to God.

Our Lord is a compassionate God. As we are made in the image of God, we too were made to exemplify this compassion. Popularity and compassion are antonyms; they have nothing to do with each other. The clamour for popularity—in any variety which we care to choose—takes us away from a God-willed and God-purposed exemplification of compassion.

If we seek to attract popularity we attract loneliness. If we seek to attract compassion we attract the blessings of God.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Strange Nature of Hope

It’s better to not have, than have; to have it to look forward to than to have tasted it already. Pretty dim words? The anticipation of a good time is strangely better as it approaches than it is as it’s actually enjoyed. Not that we don’t enjoy it—we experience different joys because of it.

The great thing about hope is it’s not just secured by the realisation of our dreams; it’s very much available any time if our minds and realities agree.

Hope is procured by a mind jolt—when we change our thoughts, thinking hopefully, there it is. No doubt our realities do need to align in some real and felt sense of hopefulness.

But we can turn relatively hopeless situations around to our advantage, especially if we realise that better times are ahead.


We do, however, need a short-term hope. A life with chronic short-term hopelessness is enough to induce depression even if a medium to longer term hope exists.

Find a hope right now; something to look forward to, however small. Immediately prospects will improve.

Outlooks are brightened, or dimmed, by the vision that we see.

What are we allowing our minds to see?

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Backing Ourselves In, By Faith

“... for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.” ~2 Timothy 1:7 (NRSV).

The concept of submission confuses many a Christian. We’ve perhaps all fallen for it. Ordinarily submission is a good thing. But there are two types of submission; one enshrined in the wisdom of righteousness, the other a submissive folly based in the fear of timidity.

The difference naturally is the presence or absence of the courage of faith.

A Divinely-Appointed Submission

The first type of submission—the one in the sights of the Apostle Paul—sets itself on being inspired of God toward backing ourselves in, by faith.

Featuring for those backing themselves in is the definitive Presence of Power. Their submission originates in the acuity of discernment. Spiritual inspiration, once discerned, is trusted—we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

This is a pure, and an assured, sort of submission. A worldly person might see it as confidence. They might wonder at the mystery—a quietly humble, yet honourable, way—that travels with the servant of God who stakes their life in truth.

The Submission of Ease

There are so many versions of submission that miss the mark. The submission of ease seems the way to go, but it never wins the day.

The submission that Paul found Timothy bound by was the variety characterised by timidity—a self-protective mechanism that proved to be no protection at all. Instead, Paul commended Timothy to fan the flame of the Spirit, and rekindle the gift of God which was pioneered by the Spirit’s anointing and proffered further by faith.

But realistically, there are thousand or more forms of the easy submission that don’t work; these are all rooted in the fear variants of self-consciousness, anxiety, negative self-talk, plain fear, helplessness, and hopelessness. There is an ease at which one of these picks each of us out—everyone has their fatal flaw; a customised fear that clings and opposes the divinely-appointed submission of faith.

One Central Reason To Back Ourselves

It makes logical sense to revolt against the fear that self selects our personalities. But most people, and especially Christians, find themselves in a so-called safe territory to remain in a submission of ease. The sense to walk by faith makes sense when we see it done, but there is an even more fundamental reason to do it—to live for truth.

We must back ourselves in the spirit of faith for one solitary reason. Our Lord paid a princely sum for each of us to enjoy power in the Holy Spirit.

God has sought us and bought us, and given us the wherewithal to live with power, grace, and a humble confidence. As we live for truth, discerning our way, we sense God’s hand of blessing upon us. Really, we are blessed for backing ourselves in when we live for truth.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Friday, August 26, 2011

One Solitary Freedom

“You must pay for everything in this world, one way or another. There is nothing free except the grace of God.” ~Mattie Ross, played by Hailee Seinfeld in True Grit (2010).

There are some things we read and instantly we feel its truth. Considering how life pays us out, even at times when we don’t deserve it, the above quote speaks an innate truth.

How wonderful the wisdom of God is, that it—at the name of Judgment—catches up with every individual, eventually, who has done the wrong thing. We know this by the things that we’ve done wrong. We most certainly (inwardly) hope for that same outcome for those who wrong us—that the Lord would catch up with them.

In this, there is no reason for envy. Patience is a more handsome remunerator.

We can trust the nature of judgment; it has an eternal nature about it. Whether we seek it or not, it comes.

Grace and Judgment – The Span of Eternity

The other side of judgment is grace.

Grace is as certain and as reliable as judgment is, as is its price—not a single earthly currency can buy it, however. It remains at the polar opposite of judgment; its span is eternity itself. So, if we placed judgment in the far east and then placed grace in the far west, and then imagine them both unparalleled in their vastness, we might begin to know two inherent traits of God—the eternal Lord embodying them both, equally.

How is it that the above quote can capture two qualities of God that—so far as cost or, certainty of blessing or consequence goes—couldn’t be more opposite?

Yet, as it is, these do span eternity, so far as eternity plays itself out in the lives of the living on this earth.

Waiting on the Other Side – Enjoying Grace

If we’ve dispensed with judgment, and we wish to explore the vast kindness of God, which is the notion of grace, we can now enjoy the bathing of the mind, heart and soul in a freedom beyond words, sensation, and elucidation.

One solitary freedom is to be enjoyed, but only by the soul who would accept such freedom. Such a freedom is wasted on too many, for they do not take it—squandering their share of grace; a share destined for their unique, and our universal, enjoyment. Infuriatingly, such an enjoyment is never enjoyed by these.

Surely the squander of such a thing should rend our hearts, but regrettably we do not think that way. We find safety in knowing we have it, and it only pains us when this free gift is not enjoyed by loved ones.

Enjoying grace to its fullest is not fretting judgment, for concerning ourselves with worry for judgment—either for or against—is denying, or distracting itself from, grace. Such a predilection for one thing means we cannot enjoy the other.

Grace or judgment: which end of this span of eternity will we endear ourselves with? What will be our focus? Put this way, surely we go with grace, and follow our God into freedom.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pleasant Enquiries of the Soul

Each soul asks itself: “What sort of little boy or girl am I?” The answer takes a lifetime to continually reveal itself—if the soul is honest. And honesty is a good vehicle to a pleasant relationship—the soul with itself and, essentially, with God.

There is an eternal echo from the child within each of us that seeks court with the being that is now adult. If we cannot be reconciled to the child within, due to the nasty taste that continues to lie there in our pasts, we will perhaps miss the intimacy with ourselves that God wills us to have.

Pleasant enquiries of the soul are enabled when people like you and I grasp our past and present realities with honest hands; we forge a hope-filled and God-willed future.

Pleasant enquiries of the soul are sponsored by God, in that the honesty that fuels the courageous capacity ensures we can both see and create our potential.

Pleasant enquiries of the soul allow a fundamental peace to coexist; we with it, and it with us. We can imagine this peace is the same peace that transcends human understanding. We don’t know why or how, we just know it in faith.

Being home with ourselves is being home with God.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Found On The Outer?

Finding ourselves on the outer—placed surreptitiously on the backburner; transferred there—elicits shock. Suddenly there is an adjustment required. It’s over to us even though we had no choice in the matter. We, and not the ‘change agents’, have to make the most of it. Sound or feel familiar?

Change thrusts us into the spotlight or away from it—neither location, most often, we go to by choice.

The first temptation is to fret.

“Don’t fret.”

That’s what our logical minds and close wise advisors are saying. But somehow we do—we continue to grapple with the facts as they are. Nothing’s changing the facts. ‘The world’ is different now. It’ll never be the same. And although we generally don’t mind change, these particular changes have been asserted over us—welcome to the corporate reality.

In golfing terms, that’s the outward nine dealt with. Now for the much more welcoming inward nine.

Finding Favour Within

Whenever we find God’s will and then go that way we find favour within.

The change that has been foisted upon us is not only visible as a threat, but an opportunity also. Threats can be veiled as opportunities just as opportunities can be veiled as threats. This is, of a sense, not just about positive thinking; it’s about our mindset and our chosen eye-line, or what we choose to see.

God’s will is always about seeing the opportunity in the threat; the invisible light eking through the darkness. And there always is opportunity in threat, and light peering out of the darkness.

Finding favour within is about accepting what is good about the new and disregarding the good that was in the old. That’s easier said than done, of course.

But perhaps now we have less responsibility and more spare time and space. Maybe we feel less relevant, less important, even surplus to requirements.

Disregarding the overtures of our hurt hearts and capable minds to up and leave—to go on to a new thing, elsewhere—let’s not forget how quickly we can be subbed back into the game! Besides, adjustment is a finite process. We do ultimately adjust.

It really depends on whether we’ll embrace that adjustment or not. Can we absorb what it requires of us? And what will it cost? If we can bear the costs the transition time may very well be worth it.

Whatever we do we should earnestly look to do those things that help us find favour within, by finding favour with God, by discerning the will of the Lord (the best we can) and doing it the best we can.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Basic Things Must Be Done First

Whenever issues of time management, or a lack of time, rear their ugly head there is either one of two things that proves problematic. Either we have too much on or we’re not doing the basic things first. Most often the former creates the latter. We try shortcutting the necessary things. Frustration ensues because poor choices are made for extrinsic motivations.

One Thing about Life That Never Changes

Why is it that we fail to learn? We seem destined to make the same errors. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t have to continue to chase our tails. We can attract blessing by applying what we already know.

One thing about life that never changes is, the basic things must always be done first; this is, initially, a matter of self-discipline.

The more self-disciplined we are in doing the basic things of life, the more satisfaction and fulfilment that’s in store for us.

The linkage between self-discipline and contentment in life is also another thing that never changes. This is just one aspect of the wisdom of God we can rely on. We use the power of self-discipline and we are blessed, or we fail to use it and we are cursed.

The Basics of a Best Foot Forward

Self-discipline is such a basic thing, but it’s still one of the hardest things for us to accomplish. But all self-discipline is, when analysed, is a series of willed decisions, all of which are congruent with preconceived goals of achievement.

A best-foot-forward approach is doing the thing that we know is the right thing to do. If we can do that each and every time—in theory, disregarding occasional lapses, because none of us want to become discipline-crazy—then we are exercising self-discipline. We can achieve anything that we are humanly capable of.

More and more, however, as we begin to explore the theory of being self-disciplined, we will find that it’s the basics we need to do, consistently and well.

Implementing Such Basic Ideas

We understand the theory of self-discipline and still we have trouble implementing it, because it requires us to sacrifice. Most of us Westerners live quite soft lives. We are used to getting our own way. Sacrifice doesn’t come easy.

But it doesn’t have to feel like sacrifice. If we do that basic thing, first, and get it out of the way, the sacrifice rewards us. All it took was a bit of faith to act in the wisdom of self-discipline.

Self-discipline is its own reward. Do the basic things first; then enjoy the elaborate. We must earn the elaborate to enjoy it.

One final note: let’s not get down for early failures of self-discipline. Let self-discipline become a habit, and habit doesn’t become so if we give up before it takes hold.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Celebrating In Grief

On the loss of a good mate, award-winning ABC reporter, Paul Lockyer, Ray Martin explained his simple philosophy on grief: “We have to celebrate; it’s too sad otherwise.”

It is, without doubt, a stoic approach to grief. It’s not right for everyone, and it’s not right for all circumstances, for some deaths and tragedies are simply forlorn whichever way we look at them. Indeed, most deaths, and all deaths of family members still with reason to live, will be utterly mournworthy. That point is not in dispute.

But celebrating in grief can offer many of us a soothing and transformational hope; especially in relation to a life well lived, combined with a death where the deceased died doing what they loved doing.

The Courage of Grieving in the Mode of Celebration

I cannot overstate the applicability and limitations of this idea to those more removed than close family members; immediate family must be allowed to grieve as the process of grieving dictates.

But good friends, allies, associates and acquaintances can afford to dwell in celebration, whilst they watch out for family members and close ones needing additional support.

The choice to grieve in a mood of celebration, the disposition of joy, when reflecting over our experiences with the person now gone, where they always brought life, is courage and also wisdom knowing that a forlorn mood—unless grief takes us there deliberately—may distract us from the positive things we might be able, instead, to do. For instance, such focus on sadness may prevent us from supporting the ailing family or being there for a person in a hole of lament. It may restrict our vision.

Distances in Lament

We can suppose that the difference between crippling grief and the sadness of someone lost that we miss, is vast. Familial issues polarise and immortalise grief, at least for a time.

Situational or relational distance from the lament makes for speedier recovery from the grief. It’s obvious the closer we are to the person or issue, the more acute the pain will be. Celebration may be out of our grasp.

But if we can, we should attempt to celebrate the life of the person lost, or the situation changed forever, by knowing the courage and wisdom of doing such a thing, and believing we can do it, if we can. But we must also understand that grief is an uncompromising beast, and oftentimes it insists on having its way.

If celebrating a life of a lost one—or recalling beautiful memories—is possible, all the more blessed are we, and their memory also.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Graphic Credit: Oceans of Tears by Duchesse Guermante.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Spirituality of ‘Style’

The fashion industry majors on style. In fact, the art world in general can be considered as that adorning the mastery of style—yet many people do not understand; they cannot get their heads around ‘weird’ art and aloof garments paraded up and down the catwalk.

“Style is elusive, yet obvious to see. It’s an attitude, a way, an emotion...”

~Kylie Minogue.

The quote above describes style as a sort of magic; a highly desirable and potent quality that sets apart the everyday as the unique; the distinctive as mass-producible. It’s alluring, captivating, and illuminating on thoughts, feelings and senses. It evokes wild sweeping responses. It wakes us out of our slumber and breathes life into us.

So, how can it not be spiritual?

Spiritual persons need to be interested in style—but not the style we see on catwalks or in art galleries. But a worldly person might be endowed-of-wonder to gaze upon one with spiritual style. Christians would call this person ‘full of the Holy Spirit’.

Qualities of Spiritual Style

How might we determine what spiritual style looks like? We need to begin to think in ways that merge two word concepts: holiness with style.

Word concepts that might describe a didactic sort of style include wisdom, grace, elegance, beauty, winsomeness, and humble serendipity. This sort of style includes all those, and more.

If we were to epitomise this style of rooted integrity we would be charismatic, yet dependable; likeable, yet accountable; smooth, yet honest; embracing, yet sufficiently distant; cautiously extroverted, yet passionably introverted—these all depending upon the needs of the season. Ah, sounds like the situational balance of wisdom, doesn’t it?

Nurturing Spiritual Style

The spirituality of style is actually what I think Kylie Minogue describes above. It is a most welcome enigma; an enchanting mystery. Little wonder we fall in love with it when we see it.

These chic qualities—embellished neatly, and essentially, with righteous virtue—are the essence of good spirituality, which—when it’s of God—is based always in truth.

The person who nurtures their spiritual style, encrusted with solitaires of humble intent, is harnessing the power of God in their mortal being; they will be a jewel for God and for others in their midst.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Graphic Credit: New York Times.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Asking Better Questions of Ourselves

Our self-talk has the effect of either liberating or captivating us—that is, if we haven’t already learned how to quiet it or harmonise it in favour of the healing whispers of God.

We can just as easily—any time—commence a form of higher enquiry that will lead to the benefit of virtue: patience, peace, joy, acceptance, courage, and the like.

Some points to make:

1. Rather than accepting statements that occur in our minds, carte blanche, that the devil seeks to sow, we question them; indeed, we question—as a method of thought—more and more.

2. The mode of questioning is the refined exemplification of wisdom, which holds judgment at bay, weighing thoughts with fact, so thinking is filtered by the truth, and therefore we can reap unadulterated blessing. Otherwise, we prejudge and act on assumptions and half-truths.

3. Questioning is the mode of discovery—an outward expression of vision—when too often we become introverted, even fixated, by our perceptions. Questioning swims past the salty, dying creeks of envy, sadness, inferiority and resentment to go with the flow of the river, which is life vouchsafed for the truth.

4. Questioning allows us to remain positive when things are still in doubt. Just how often do we need to keep swimming—as an act of faith—through the murky waters of life?

5. But questioning is still faulty if we don’t ask better questions. Better questions have a way about them that climbs over and above our egos. The ability to ask better questions is made available when we broaden our perspective; our needs no longer primary and in front of others’ needs.

6. Space is retrieved at the time it is required when we question rather than judge; when we prefer an open mind over a closed one. Open-mindedness is a blessing of joy, confidence and freedom—for both ourselves and others. Questioning, without partiality, is clearly better than judging.

7. Let us also not understate this fact: when we answer other people’s queries with questions we highlight that we’re listening, we’re interested in understanding, and that we also want them to think with us on the topics of discussion too. Questioning encourages genuine dialogue. Asking better questions in these situations is affording our relationships better congruence and closer intimacy, with more satisfactory outcomes.

Questioning as the mode of both self-enquiry and relational enquiry is a basic tool of wisdom; not only should we question more, but we should learn to ask better questions.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Merging Worlds So Joy is Everywhere

Our lives are a compendium of several different worlds: home, extended family, work, leisure, and our community roles, etc. Joy is natural in some of these worlds, but hard in others. Joy, however, should be available anytime.

Joy can only be available in each our worlds, in each of our roles, if we believe that it it’s possible, for possibility will open us up to wonder what can be done to extract the components of what is an ‘inside job’ in any event—that is, joy.

If we loath our work, yet we love our family time, there is an attitude within us that simply needs tweaking. Really, we can learn to enjoy any activity, any environment; any situation—in normal world terms—we are placed in.

As far as our learning is concerned, we can merge worlds by borrowing from the reason of our joy in one world to make joy available in another. This is about reflection and a willingness to learn and apply. What makes us feel happy in that better worldview? Replicate the feeling in other places.

Let us not be satisfied with inner dissatisfaction. We can extract the happiness of joy anywhere if we are prepared to work at it. Trust in this: joy is an inside job.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Views of Everyday Eternity

Our relationships with God, others, and ourselves—with life—always carry about them aspects of eternity; the ‘everyday’ issuing compelling evidence of an echo-through-the-age that resounds via the acts and inaction we engage in.

How could God judge us harshly when that echo is bound to be fraught with fault? We have nothing to feel guilty about beyond our genuine repentance.

But the subject is the fact of eternity in our everyday experience. That is, the fact of God in the humdrum phenomena of life; the Lord of life interested and involved in every little thing.

Even in the Little Things, Is God

In the objects of toileting; the thoughts of the next thing as we park the car; as we sleep; and, especially in our devotional time—there is God.

How special it is that we live on average three-score-and-ten, plus ten or twenty more perhaps if we’re fortunate, and there God travels with us each travailing second.

In the smallest, least significant thought—there, God.

In the massive decisions that tip our lives into fresh spectrums—there, also, God.

Real Life Is Cognisance of Eternity in the Everyday

Conscious living has many realms of living value; not all life is life—not by Jesus’ Spiritual understanding.

Jesus came to give the abundant life (John 10:10b) and it is this abundant life that we draw on when we see the eternal perspective playing out in the harmless seconds as well as in the significant ones.

What does this look like regarding what can be observed?

1. It’s standing at a slight distance from our own lives even from within our own bodies and minds. This is the ability to look on life with that little bit more patience and perspective. Although God is intimately interested in us, life is not really about us, not centrally.

2. It’s deliberately taking a turn, stepping into another’s shoes, even for fleeting moments to feel as they feel, or at least attempt it. Doing this puts paid to selfishness and all it takes is the awareness to think differently.

3. It’s committing ourselves to seeing God in everything—the good, the bad, and the indifferent; because, let’s face it, there is more indifference in life than either good or bad. As we bay in that truth we begin to understand, and accept, life is life: a gift, from eternity’s eyes, in anyone’s terms.

It is, of course, so many other things. We have only scraped the surface here.

But we get the idea, and the idea is the main thing.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Believing in Ourselves

We know when we don’t. Our outcomes turn out regretfully and we let ourselves and others down. For want of fortitude to follow a plan, or the diligence to stick to one, we experience regret rather than the lustre of confidence, purpose and meaning.

Believing in ourselves involves diligence, in preparation, coupled with situational courage to see the plan through.

Then, we experience the exhilaration—the God-blessed confidence—that we knew enough, and were bold enough, to succeed. And this confidence feeds the next effort, and so on, as confidence grows into experience.

Believing in ourselves is finally about the realisation of what we long hoped for, but perhaps in our heart of hearts didn’t fully believe we were capable of. Now that it’s transpired we are filled with joy.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.