Friday, July 3, 2009

Running Late

I am one of those people who is always running late - if something important is on, friends tell me a time half an hour in advance so I will not miss out! My excuse is that I am always doing lots of things, and I try to fit in that extra job that runs me late. But isn’t it the case that many of us try to do too much? We take on too many jobs, try to go to too many places, visit too many people and attend too many functions so we just run out of time! In principle there is nothing wrong with this, except when it starts to impact on our ability to enjoy the things that we do do. Things that we should be enjoying become a bind because we don’t take time to enjoy them! Where are you going now, I might ask? Are you going somewhere that could be left off your busy schedule, or doing something that could be achieved just as effectively in a less onerous way? As we all know good time management is necessary in effectively planning each day.

The Where are you going question could, of course, equally apply in reference to what vision or objectives you might have for your life. It seems to be that people who are able to develop objectives for where they want to be at some time in the future have much more success in achieving than those who do not. Somebody once said, to fail to plan is a plan to fail. I have never been strong on setting personal goals, as I recognise that there are a lot of factors beyond my control so I do not want to pre-empt a final outcome, but nevertheless it does seem good to set goals for where you want to go. You then must learn to be able to accept and adjust to the detours and route changes along the way!

And in a third sense the Where are you going question relates to the unknown phase of life beyond the life we are living now. There is no definitive human detail about that journey, but setting the goals comes from an inward acceptance or understanding about those things which we personally and inwardly believe. At times people have to face a stark confrontation with eternity. For instance just recently I was asked to visit a person living quite “normally” who had gone into hospital for tests and was suddenly confronted with the news that they would not be going home! I am sure for some this is an all too familiar story! One or two weeks – who knows? But it is when confronted with such a reality that people are forced to think about what might be going to happen. Many people choose not to think about this journey, but if we do, in most cases it gives us a liberating feeling, and the outcome of being able to enjoy life on “this side” to a higher level. It doesn’t hurt to think about it! As Christians we believe that our Creator has given us information about how this phase of life fits into a continuum of life, distilled into the collection of writings we call the Bible. Here we read about processes of life which apply generically to all generations, and about a central event – the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ who has reconciled this World to the Great Creator.