Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What would the depth of your life be, if you measured it?

Don't be someone who doesn't care about things - who has built up such a facade of superficial things that nothing meaningful or real can penetrate.

"Though seeing, they do not see;
      though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
   " 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
      you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
 15For this people's heart has become calloused;
      they hardly hear with their ears,
      and they have closed their eyes.
   Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
      hear with their ears,
      understand with their hearts
   and turn, and I would heal them.'" Matthew 13: 13-15

I was supervising a class who were watching a video on the boycotts in South Africa during the apartheid regime. By the end of the video I was moved at what a group of people banding together could accomplish even under severe  oppression.

But I watched as many of the young people, rather than taking in the words that were being said and recognising the significance of what they were seeing, they simply laughed at a man's accent, and the girls went back to giggling and I'm pretty sure I saw one flick there hair, like some bad teenage movie.

With another class, reading and watching the Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - the boys, this time, spent more time laughing at inappropriate moments, drawing swastikas on desks and each other and making rude comments, than they did actually taking the time to think about the significance of the real life events and people behind the story.

Not all young people are like this - and there are plenty of adults who are like this still. So this is for everyone. Care about things - let things penetrate the shield sometimes.

No one wants to walk around being affected by everything in life - there are so many bad things happening every day that if we cared about all of them we'd go crazy. We obviously can't take on everyone else's stuff.  And we aren't going to walk around all day being super serious about everything.

But care about things - when you come across them, let the important things resonate and sink in. Don't be someone who walks around ONLY thinking about the surface things - that's when we become shallow and materialistic.

 It's also when our little daily stuff becomes disproportionately large. When not having the perfect brand of shoes, that annoying person you have to talk to every day, having to eat vegetables instead of pizza, that person you like not feeling the same - it's when all that stuff seems like the whole world.

Take notice of the things going on around us in this world, not to get depressed at the state of it all, but to remind you to put things in perspective.

And also to give you a sense of hope. Like in South Africa, determined people helped to overthrow apartheid. Even in the holocaust, a devastating and horrific part of history, there were those who made small differences, by risking themselves to help those who were persecuted.

In every story of terrible atrocities there are the small sparks of hope that remind us what we are capable of when we take notice of things. When we realise what really matters in life, and live our lives with depth and love.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.  Psalm 1:3

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