Fulfilling Your Life !

from Rev. Bruce Wood - June 2017

Published in News First ó our monthly church newsletter  

Many people live their lives believing that if they were living somewhere else, or had some other life circumstances, life would be a whole lot better.  As though life would be improved if they were someone else - or if they didnít have their particular worries, and stresses, and issues.  Or maybe if they had won the lottery, life would be a whole lot rosier.  Yet I donít think life really works that way! 

The desire for other life circumstances, relies on the understanding that the struggles, and the hard times, and the pain of our lives, are things to get away from - that those troubles shouldnít be part of our lives - and if we didnít have to deal with pain and tough times - then, life would be so much better.  However, all these desires rely on the promise that life would be better if ....  As though some thing, or some place, or some other circumstances, would make our life better than it is at present.

Iím not talking here about the basic necessities of life - for they will be very different for a middle class urban Australian to those of a refugee or an indigenous person living in a remote settlement - or the obvious tragedy of the death of a loved one.  It may appear that many peopleís lives are blessed with a safe environment - plenty of food - supportive and life-giving relationships -  yet each of our lives will have difficulties and issues we have to deal with - and how we deal with those issues will impact on our lives, and our futures.

However, the only way we can find out if that life would be better, is to actually go and live it, and see how it all works out.  Yet, when we do, we may find that this new life we dreamed of, also has its limitations and difficulties and stresses - and after a while we may begin to wish we were in some other place, or with some other circumstances, because where we are, and what we are doing, has become a burden.  And so, the cycle continues.

Our understandings of life, our ways of doing things, our memories, our opinions and our ideas, donít simply change with our circumstances.  Instead, they travel with us, wherever we are.  Itís a bit like traveling with a back-pack that contains our mannerisms, our characteristics, our thoughts, and our feeling - they stay with us no matter where we go, and no matter who we are with. 

Life tends to be a mixture of joy, and sorrow - of amazing happiness, and deep sorrow - of delight in small things, and the crushing power of complex issues - of celebration, and grief - of desire for something better, and of being satisfied with who we are.

However, itís only in the living of our lives, that we grow and mature as people and are able to make a difference to ourselves, and the world around us.

When we engage with life - when we engage with our family, our friends, our world, and with God - when we involve ourselves with the issues that are in front of us - thatís when we truly fulfil our purpose.  And the answers to life - if you are looking for them - will come from our engagement with the world in which we live - not from grumbling about our circumstances or wishing we were elsewhere.

Jesus was a great one for confronting issues and challenging unacceptable behaviour - for dealing with the questions and the difficulties of life, as they occurred.  And he did so with the support of a group of friends - and with an intimate connection with God.  And similarly with us - an intimate connection with God, and a group of supportive friends, will make an immense difference in how we deal with the ups and downs of our life. 

So please, donít spend time wanting to live elsewhere or with different circumstances.  Live this life that you have - the life you have been gifted - and engage God in your struggles, as well as your celebrations - and always remember that God is as close to you as your next thought - as close to you as your next question. 

Peace,  Rev. Bruce Wood