We are human beings; we need more than food to satisfy us. God made us complex, complex emotionally; we need to be excited and motivated by many things; music, art, films, hobbies, emotional highs and even lows. We are ever restless, never satisfied and are always on the lookout for what will fulfil us or make us truly happy.
I have, and have had for a while, OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. In the past, it was washing hands and checking oven gas taps for the 8millionth time. Now it’s intrusive thoughts that I just don’t want. When I was younger, much younger, life seemed so much easier; no ambition, no stress, little hassle and little real need for any plans. This carried me through early adulthood, but then as I left my teens I was struck with depression; I had a calling on my life from God yet refused to heed that calling; what a pure unadulterated jerk I was! But, we all make mistakes.
Ah what a life we could live if we had no troubles; but troubles seem ever to cling to us and make us less than we could; or do they? God never promises anyone an easy ride, and life for many people can be very hard. But, if we could most of us would rather not be troubled. Life is full of stresses; most of us have to get on, make money, do a job, pay rent or a mortgage, fall in love and then plan to raise a family; that’s how the script usually goes anyway. Some of us break the mould, for one reason or another. We find ourselves in some ways cast adrift; we don’t have a job, we didn’t have a big plan, we’re not in love and far from married life and all that that entails and all we may have, the one thing that might separate us from those around us, is our faith in God. A faith in God; a blessing, or a curse? We have to listen to God, whether we like it or not, and we have to be obedient, whatever the world does or doesn’t do we have to be obedient.
When we plan a better life for ourselves, whatever the plan might be, to start a business, get a better job or even just get a job, be a writer, photographer or professional musician, or indeed anything that we do and want to make a living at, it’s certain that we have to be determined to be pro-active at pursuing a better life. Many professions are by their nature lonely and solitary, especially the writing trade; it’s just you and a blank screen and a keyboard, or pen and paper for those old enough to remember! Some of us are happy in our own company, other people need company all the time. The one reality most of us pursuing a dream is that it won’t come easy; it’s 10% inspiration and the rest, well you probably know the story.
Sometimes, pursuing a dream can be the making of us; it gives us a purpose, it gives us a reason to get out of bed and it can define our lives. Sometimes though, especially if our expectations are too high or overly unrealistic, we can set ourselves up for a fall. Also, if we have big plans of any kind, we must let God into them by praying about them. I must stress something; we should never be cruel about someone else’s ambitions, or even dismissive of our own plans, even if they seem far out of reach. Better to be realistically positive in all ways rather than unrealistically negative. What I mean is this; if you say ‘I want to be a billionaire’ and you have no business experience, have little money to back this up and in the end have no real idea what you want to do or how you are going to do it, the chances are you won’t achieve such an ambition. As well as this, an ambition or dream has to come from you, not from anyone else or for any other reason than it is a burning desire and ambitions of yours. Otherwise it will probably also not see the light of day either. Be ambitious, dream big, but be realistic and honest too.
The Price of Perfection
‘I know, Yahweh, no one's course is in his control, nor is it in anyone's power, as he goes his way, to guide his own steps.’ (Jeremiah 10:23 NJB) Some people are control freaks. Some control freaks want to control and manipulate others, and many other control freaks just want to remain in control of their own lives. In a chaotic, fallen and uncertain world, this can be understandable. Who doesn’t want to remain in control, at least of their own lives? In a deeply flawed and imperfect world, where so many people seem to be lost and many in the world live chaotic lives of one kind or other, it’s understandable that there are people who strive for perfection. But does God want our perfection? Can the desire for perfection be the actual catalyst for creating unhappy people who can never reach the goal of perfection? Does the very aim of perfection help in fact to create imperfect people, people who are also unhappy because they have unfulfilled desires? And perhaps the desire for perfection, whatever that truly means or amounts to, is the most unfulfilled desire of them all.
The price of perfection is always going to be unfulfilled because no human is ever going to reach perfection this side of Heaven; we all make mistakes, we all err, we all cock up now and again, no matter how much we try not to. And the dangers of perfection? One of the dangers of those proclaiming some kind of perfection is that they are often highly critical and highly judgemental of those they perceive as not being in any way perfect. We see this in many countries and societies around the world. God is not calling us to be perfect, He is in fact calling us to acknowledge our guilt before Him so we can seek forgiveness and redemption and begin to live truly Christian and holy lives. Yes, He wants us to be as close to perfection as we can be, but in a fallen world we can’t yet be perfect. ‘Yahweh says this, 'Let the sage not boast of wisdom, nor the valiant of valour, nor the wealthy of riches! But let anyone who wants to boast, boast of this: of understanding and knowing me. For I am Yahweh, who acts with faithful love, justice, and uprightness on earth; yes, these are what please me,' Yahweh declares.’ (Jeremiah 9:22-23 NJB)
Just Another Thought
It has happened recently throughout Europe that processed beef products like burgers, lasagnes, shepherd’s pies and many other products supposedly containing beef are actually horsemeat or contain horsemeat. To the British, who generally do not eat horsemeat, this has come as a shock to many people. In Britain, we tend to look at the way Americans are often taken in by televangelists and we sort of feel smug because it doesn’t really happen in Britain. At the same time though, Americans are often much more savvy about the powers-that-be and have a healthy suspicion of those from the ruling elites trying to cajole or otherwise persuade people to believe in them. In the British Isles, it seems so many people are gullible when it comes to our ruling elites; because they are Upper class, or they are well-bred gentlemen or rather otherworldly and posh, when they say or do something, ordinary people in their droves seem to agree without question. The horsemeat scandal is I believe the tip of the iceberg, and I think we need to be far more questioning and have a far healthier and balanced suspicion in the British Isles of the people who rule us and the MPs who are supposed to represent us and indeed anyone in positions of high office. Mark my words, other scandals will break. ‘…Yahweh said to Samuel, 'Take no notice of his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him; God does not see as human beings see; they look at appearances but Yahweh looks at the heart.'’ (1 Samuel 16:7 NJB) We need very much in Britain to start questioning the nature of power, and why often certain groups of people seem to get the best jobs, the best education, the best housing and the best lives whilst usually the rest of us have to accept second best. I am not condemning those who are wealthy and powerful, and those who make the laws and effectively rule over us for wanting decent lives and to have good careers, I am saying that more people have to be allowed to share in the prosperity of Britain; that’s all.
For those who have OCD, check out this website: http://www.ocdaction.org.uk/
For those who have OCD, check out this website: http://www.ocdaction.org.uk/