As I’ve got older, and reflected on the world as someone raised in the Christian faith, I’m aware of some ways my thinking and feeling about the world has expanded. And I just want to ponder a few things. I started with the fairly black and white view that you need to explicitly ‘accept and follow Jesus’ to ‘have eternal life’, to be ok, assured of heaven not hell. But one of the things that life (and the media) make you aware of is that there are vast forces of power, creativity, ‘life’ outside the Christian or indeed any ‘religious’ confines. And that indeed this great tide and variety of life for a large part seems to outshine what Christ’s explicit followers appear to achieve. If God is the source of all, then ‘he’ (will there one day be a non-gender specific personal pronoun in English?) evidently puts no obvious limit on the capacity of non-Christians’ talents to flower and flourish - be it a great sportsman, media personality, scientist or whoever. And I recall a family member’s relishing of nature’s detail - specifically different kinds of animal tracks - in a way that made me just a little ashamed at my own hitherto relative lack of effort at such deep engagement with nature’s wonders.
I can feel at times, weak, powerless and small in comparison with a lot of the evident surrounding power and prosperity in the world. And there’s something undeniably good about this ‘life force’ that animates people’s lives - I guess it’s from God whether acknowledged or not. At the same time, I hold onto the conviction that spending time communing with Christ empowers and enables - no matter what degree of natural talent possessed – an impact on the world which is in some way ‘distinctive - ‘salt and light’.