12 December 2009

From the Evangelist Desk.
(Yes a desk this time!)

The Ghost of Christmas past, present and future.

There are choices in life to make. There’s the right choice and the wrong choice. What have your choices been so far? Have you got a mixed bag of right and wrong choices? I know that I have. What does the Bible tell us about the choices we can make?

Deuteronomy 30: 15-18.
See I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and you are drawn away to bow down to other gods, and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. (N.I.V.)

This is part of a session that I was asked to reflect on when I was on Spiritual retreat for nine days. When I spent my designated session praying and mediating, I was drawn to share what I had learned with you all.

How many gods have I bowed down to worship in my lifetime?

The Ghost of Christmas past.
I cast my mind back to when I was young and felt that I needed to be part of the group. You know that pier type thing. I bowed down and said that you are the greatest too many a leader of a group, (or for want of a better word, gang). Join them or get picked on. That was what I was told was ‘becoming street wise’.

So there I was trying to be a ‘Street Wise Kid’, but never really fitting in. I wanted to be an individual; I wanted to be myself without having to please the ‘Leader of the gang’.

‘Do yer wanna be in my gang, my gang, my gang?’ was around in my youth, and my answer to that was, ‘NO I don’t wanna be in your gang!’ 

I then found friends of like mind and we, ‘did our own thing’.

The Ghost of Christmas present for some!
Then I came to work and found that I had a lot to aspire to. Promotion was taught from day one. ‘If want to take over my job someday, you will have to….’. You know the type of thing. So next we could say I found myself worshipping higher positions within a company and organisation. Always putting myself forward and trying to reach that ultimate goal.

But reaching that goal is a bit like playing a football match, one goal is never enough, so you have to aim higher and higher trying to score the magic number. But what is that magic number? One never knows because the scores keep changing. Where’s God in all this? I don’t know, I’m busy scoring goals.

I once knew a person who not only had goals set at work and worshipped their next god to overtake and become gods themselves, they also worshipped materialistic things. The ‘Must have the latest gadget’, type of person. They set themselves goals on when they were going to purchase the next item.

Where is God in the above I hear you ask?  Well I did pray to Him on a daily basis, or should I say prayed at Him. But I have learnt that He is a patient God, always there, and once I let Him in there was no going back. (Zap! He got me, just like Jesus with the fishermen, He caught me hook line and sinker).

The Ghost of Christmas to come, we hope!
As we get older in life, we learn to balance life. We know that God understands that we need to earn money and that sort of thing to live, but we stop focusing on the many goals and put our attention to the one true goal, that being counted as a Disciple of Christ.

One thing that I have learned since I have gotten older and wiser, maybe not street wise, but wiser none the less. To undertake any task, including your job of work, asking the Lord to enable you to undertake that task and perform it to His perfection, then that is a job worth doing.  Albeit the washing up, or deciding the next strategic move for your company. Asking the Lord to do that task to His perfection can only mean doing it to the best of your ability.

Christmas Prayers:

Let us pray for the single parent trying to find the money so that their child can enjoy what others more fortunate than themselves have.
Let us pray for the child that longs for love and finds none.
Let us pray for the old folk left in nursing homes, because on some accounts their family do not care, because they have had their day.
Let us pray for those living on the streets, where a few pounds from us may fill their stomachs with a hot meal this Christmas.

Lastly let us pray for ourselves and our families, that the God that we worship will keep us safe and well over this Festive Season. Lighting our lives as the star lit the way for the Magi. So that the light radiating from us maybe a beacon to others.

Have a good one.
Rick Hayes.

© Rick Hayes, December 2009