Friday, April 28, 2006

Its only words

Okay, after a few more serious posts, time for a few more kiwi-isms that have made me smile:

Wop-wops = Rural areas that are in the middle of nowhere
Tiki Tour = Scenic route
Hosing down = raining heavily
Hottie = Hot water bottle
Pike out = To give up when something is too difficult
Rattle your dags = Get moving quickly
Bit of a dag = Comedian, joker, or hard case
Dag = Sheep excrement that gets caught around the tail of the sheep

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Not Alone

Okay, the first thing to say is thanks for all the comments and emails of encouragement after my last blog entry. The second thing to say is to apologise if I have given the impression I am struggling more than I actually am. Sure, I had a bad day last week but those happen to us all from time to time. Based upon some of the responses I have had I have worried a few people and that was far from my intention. I guess the lesson for me to learn is when posting here is to think through in more detail how people a long way away are going to interpret what I have written.

My intentions when writing my last post were two fold:

  1. Writing helps me process what I have been learning and wanted and needed to remember what I wrote in my last post
  2. I hoped that in some small way it might offer encouragement to people facing similar struggles

So again, my thanks for all the care and encouragement I have received over the last few days, it has been very much appreciated and my apologies for any worry I have caused.

A few more thoughts of the back of my last post:

Praise God for technology! I was able to video conference with most of family over the weekend and was amazing to not only be able to talk to some of the people I really care about but see them too, and be it in a limited way participate in life back home. My various nephews and nieces performed various party tricks (once they had gotten over some of the novelty of seeing both me and themselves on a computer screen) which was enough to keep me smiling for weeks!

As a result I have found a new level of respect for missionaries in the past and present who have been to countries where communication be it verbal or visual is not possible.

Finally, in response to the question I posed in the title of my last post. Are we ever alone? The answer is no. Each of us has friends & family / people we care about and people who care about us, be it close by or scattered around the world. For those of us who are Christians we have the addition of being part of the global church which means wherever we go there will always members of our Christian family nearby. We can also have the amazing eternal aspect that we will spend eternity with them in heaven. But most importantly we have our relationship with God; something that can never be affected by geography of pretty much anything really.

So (and this will sound clich├ęd but that does not mean it is untrue) in answer to the question are we ever alone, the answer is no. We will never be alone; the worst we will ever be is physically apart.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Alone?

Time to bear a little more of my heart. Last night was the first night in a long time where I struggled to sleep for emotional reasons. I felt overwhelmed, exhausted, alone and yearned for someone to hug me and tell me it was all going to be okay. I wanted someone to tell me that they loved me unconditionally.

As I lay there in my bed I remembered a lesson I was taught over nearly four and a half years ago by a friend of mine. I am more sinful than I can understand but more loved than I can begin to imagine (or words to that effect). At the time this caused some tremors in my life. I did not find it hard to see myself as sinful but I know I will never fully grasp how sinful I am in this life (and later I came to understand that this is directly related to how I will never fully understand how loved I am). But the earthquake then came from the second half. I am more loved than I can possibly imagine. I am? At that point in my life I was struggling very much under a works mentality. I was doing a year as a Relay worker largely out of a desire on my part to make amends to God for the bad job I had made of being a Christian Union leader and in various other areas of my life. Being taught well about Grace for the first time began to turn my world on its head then and led to change in direction for my life. I could and did not need to make amends for my sin as Christ has already done it.

Four and a half years later I find myself here. Lonely, tired, and overwhelmed. And it is grace that gives me hope (and I hope and pray it will always be where I look for it). But there as I tried to sleep I was looking for another human being to play a role that they were never intended to and never could really play. I then remembered that I don't need someone to tell me I'm okay, I know I am okay. Jesus death on the cross changes my status before God. It atoned for my sin once and for all. How do I know I am loved? I could refer to any one of many passages in the bible but John 3 v 16 will do for now.

Then I went to sleep.

This is not for one minute saying that I don't need, value or appreciate the support of friends and family. Rather it is saying that I am (for now at least) looking at it from the right perspective again.