Saturday, 20 October 2012

Waiting for the Great Leap Forward

We’re always looking for that new place, that new experience, that perfect frame of mind; perhaps it’s better sometimes just to be glad right where we are.  It’s true that, in general, people are never quite satisfied, they always want more, want bigger, want better, want a better TV or a newer faster car or a bigger house, and it seems absolutely certain that rich people can never have enough money.  In all of this, in all of this yearning and wanting to be more than we are, to be richer, to be more fulfilled, are we sometimes missing the very point, the very reason for existence?  Does all our ambition to be wealthy, to have a holiday home in the sun, a swimming pool in the back garden and an expensive car in the drive have a point?  Often those who have attained fame, or great wealth or both don’t necessarily seem to be any happier than anyone else, and those millions upon millions who wish everyday to be rich but don’t attain it seem to be unhappy.  How many people caught up in the rat race really stop and think for even a second whether what they so vainly pursue is really what they want, or is someone else’s idea of what they should want?  How many of us just stop and ask ourselves just what it is we do want out of life?  Let’s get this out of the way straightaway: most people would rather be well off than poor, who wouldn’t, but the reality is that there is more to life than the acquisition of money.  If money really solved our problems then all rich people would be deliriously happy, even people with hundreds of thousands of pounds would be happy, but from where I’m standing the only thing that seems to make very rich people happy, for a time anyway, is the acquiring of more and more money, an endless pointless quest that never seems to end.  Is there another way?   


Break on Through (to the Other Side)

When people find themselves in personal situations they don’t like, be it because they live in a bad rundown area or they are poor or they don’t have employment or because they are depressed, and many other things besides, their desire is to escape and find a new life, far away from the madness and chaos and unhappiness they feel they are in.  My heart writhes within me, the terrors of death come upon me, fear and trembling overwhelm me, and shuddering grips me.  And I say, 'Who will give me wings like a dove, to fly away and find rest?'  How far I would escape, and make a nest in the desert!  (Psalms 55:4-7 NJB)  For a time in my life, I could identify completely with these words.  But even if someone isn’t troubled or confused or depressed, there is a desire in many people to break through to another kind of life, where everything is perfect, where there is no disharmony or trouble and where everything works out for the good.  This sentiment, this yearning, can possibly be expressed in ways as different as there are human beings on the planet.  But there is a desire in me, and has been at various times, to be living a completely different life and a completely different lifestyle, far from my old ways and far from my past, somewhere new, somewhere different and exciting.  I don’t think I am the only one however.


It isn’t just that I wanted to get away from everything in my old life, but that I also wanted a completely different outlook, a completely different mind-set to go with my new life.  We hope and dream for new beginnings, new horizons, new ways of looking at things, a fresh start somewhere else, far from troubles and illnesses, far from cantankerous and troublesome people, far from money worries and little piddling concerns. 


Somewhere Over the Rainbow

We all dream of making it in some way, making it big, perhaps proving to the world we aren’t losers, we do have something going for us and we are worth listening to.  Somewhere over the rainbow lies our dream, forever out of reach, somewhere in our dreams lies our perfect situation, the perfect little cottage far from everywhere in lush green fields and surrounded by little woods and copses and not too far from the coast, but private enough to allow us to live the dream.  All humans have their dreams, we are but one amongst billions dreaming their dreams; perhaps our dreams are all different but our yearnings are only too human.  What lies behind our dreams; an ideal world, unhappiness, greed or something bigger and better?  Are they dreams put there by God or are they just human yearnings?  And, do these dreams make us happy or do they make us unhappy because we feel we might never attain them?  Are they just, after all, pipe dreams?


How do we square our dreams and ambitions with what God has planned for us?  Can they be one and the same thing?  Is there a better life just over the horizon, just beyond the clouds and behind the sunset?  When we live even mundane and sometimes monotonous lives we can dream of better things, better circumstances, better emotional and better spiritual lives.  Somewhere over the rainbow lies a better life, a better relationship with God, better economic circumstances and a life that will be like a dream, only that it will be real.  Can God make our dreams reality?  I certainly think He can.


Exile on Main Street

We are exiles in a foreign country, a strange world, a world that is hostile to love and justice, that is hostile to concern for other people.  Those who are called by God to live apart from most other people, yet at the same time live amongst other people, are pulled in different directions.  We are gladiators in the arena, fighting our corner and the wild beasts of the world, knowing no peace and knowing we are not children of this world but children of the next world.  We are exiles, waiting to come home, living in Babylon, living in what appears to be sophistication and the height of luxury, but what in the end is only temporal and illusory, a delusion that will end when God stops dreaming and awakes, and we awake with Him, to a new and glorious life.  At the same time, though we prepare for our true home, we can at least get comfortable in this world and find happiness and peace here on earth.


In the film ‘Noah’s Ark’, starring Jon Voight and Mary Steenburgen amongst others, Noah’s friend Lot asks Him ‘How did you find this God?’  Noah answers, quickly but quietly and succinctly ‘I don’t know.’  If only we were all as honest as this, and instead of proclaiming our vast intelligence and superior knowledge, we just replied when we don’t know: ‘I don’t know!’  How much better and simpler would all human relations and relationships be if we were all so honest!?  In truth, if anyone is honest, any Christian that is, how can we understand God’s pull and influence on our lives, and how do we really know how He enters our lives, in what way and perhaps the most vexing question of all; why?

So we are exiles, in a foreign land, a strange world, but we have a mighty God who lights our way and will lead us to the Promised Land, the place we’ve been looking for all our lives.


  1. Hi Tim,
    yes you are right about honesty. How do we even know who we are ourselves if we are not honest, let alone expect others to know us. The trouble with being guided by worldly desires is that we could become so many different characters to achieve them, in fact that is what I believe has happened to mankind. We don't know who we really are because of our trying to be like someone else.
    If someone was to ask me 'How did you find this God?' I think I would have to say 'by responding to His call'. When I look back over my life there were a series of happenings which made me aware of Him, and then once I heard Him speak to me it was like recognizing someone whom I had been yearning for all my life. Then it was down to obedience on my part, doing what He was asking me to do no matter what other people thought or how ridiculous it might even seem to my carnal mind,because I knew that His presence could bring about only good in my life, and after this life. I have to admit that once I really started to seek Him and wait for Him to reveal Himself in my life, then tried to act on what He spoke to me, then my life really improved and the material things were not the priority. That is not to say that we don't go through trials, we do, but it is far better to have the Lord with you in those trials, and I know that my own reasoning and thoughts of direction for my life would have gone down a very different path. I am so glad I put my times in His hands.

    1. If we can't be true to ourselves, who on earth can we be true to?! If we can make both our ambitions and our desire to serve God with a whole heart one and the same, or we put all our ambitions to God, then we might just find that God has the power both to let us prosper AND live decent Christian lives at the same time.

      You wrote: '...once I heard Him speak to me it was like recognizing someone whom I had been yearning for all my life.' That sounds quite profound and I expect many people could identify with it.

      It seems sometimes that when we go through trials, and get over one hurdle, something else comes out of the blue to test us yet again! That's what happens to me anyway. I start exercising and then get hit by a cold and having sleeping problems; such is life!

  2. Hi Tim,
    I fully agree with you, it is a crying shame that the human psyche is wired up for want of material or earthly things, whether visible, such as a nice car or lovely home, or for that matter, a healthy bank account - or invisible goods such as holidays or other worthwhile experiences.
    As a travel fanatic, I certainly know where that comes from!
    But as a Christian I gradually learned that there is only one worthwhile reason why we are here. Not because we are a product of Evolution, but we are here for God alone, to love and serve our Maker and revel in the rich, bountiful love he has for us.
    But being a sinful mortal, I am prone to forget, by then any issues I may have becomes a lot bigger. Indeed, we must remain focussed on the Lord.
    A great post. I'm looking forward for your next one.

    1. The secret I find is that if we are honest with God about material ambitions, or in my case the desire to one day be a published author, God I believe has a way of bringing it to be, as long as we are obedient to Him and we don't harm or exploit others to make gain or headway.

      You wrote: '...we are here for God alone, to love and serve our Maker and revel in the rich, bountiful love he has for us.' I couldn't have said it better Frank. I need my dose of God's love everyday and also often need reminding of His love for us too, now and then.

      I love travelling too Frank; I have a nomadic spirit at heart and one day hope to fulfil some of my wanderlust going hither and thither!

      Thank you for commenting on my post and keeping my blog interesting.

  3. Yes Tim,
    I agree that God is able to give us the life we want to have in this world. My first paragraph was not referring to people who are trusting God for those things, it was referring to people who are GUIDED by worldly desires, putting those desires as their idols for various reasons, sometimes out of greed, jealousy or competition, who have lost sight of who they really were. When we are guided by God, and He is the love of our lives He is well able to give us the things we love, and love doing. Anyway, I hope you get the desires of your heart, God bless.

    1. Yes, you're absolutely right Brenda, we shouldn't be guided by worldly desires because in the end many of these things are illusory and they don't make us any happier. When people search for wealth and status, amongst many other things, they are perhaps really searching for happiness and even spiritual fulfilment.

      As part of my prayers, rather than just praying for success, I specifically pray that God meets my needs and my family's needs, before He meets my greed. Yes, we compete when we see someone prospering and then we lose perspective, we lose sight of what God wants for us and we can even lose God's blessings because we are too busy making our own plans.

  4. I don't think you have any greed Tim, from what I see in your writings, and I truly believe you were made to be a writer. Take a look at your pageviews, that should tell you how much people are drawn to what you write.

    1. That's very kind of you Brenda! Thank you!

  5. Man T i really like reading your post's, so much in fact i decided to set aside sometime today to catch up on your recent post`s that i missed. Your a superb writer, your honesty is so refreshing. So much of this post jumped out to me.

    I use to have dreams, big ones, but not so different from the average person. I wanted and somedays find myself still wanting to prove i'm not a loser, to have an impressive car & job, trendy clothes & things like that. I started to fantasize about it, and daydream about impressing old highschool people and family members. Now i ask God to help me to not get carried away with fantasies and delusions, i pray to walk soberly and to not care what people think of me, but it's hard not caring what people think of me.

    It gives me hopw and comfort in knowing i'm only a sojourner here on earth, that God has gone to prepare a place and i also find comfort in the scriptures, especially where it say's life isn't about an abundance of posessions, like you mentioned here in your post. This was another great post, i'm sure this can help many people.

  6. Thank you for commenting Sateigdra, it makes everything I write worthwhile. Likewise, I really enjoy your blog because of its honesty and originality, amongst other things.

    I think that we all should be ambitious, but Christians first and foremost should want to serve God wholeheartedly. Of course, we can pray and should pray about more material ambitions too; why not? We all have to eat after all. But I have learnt that there is a difference between need and greed; there is a difference between what is necessity and want after all. Most of us would love to own our own Caribbean island, but do we really need to? The answer is no! God is a God who will bless us both materially and spiritually if we ask Him to, but the spiritual blessings are things which will last and are more important.