It's become apparent that i need to belong, that i need to feel loved, needed and valued. This is not about how that is happening, but something each and every person on the planet wants, we all want to be loved or cared for. We deny it and put on a rufty tufty front and hard ass masks, but when the lights go out and we are alone with our thoughts, we crave it almost like a drug. Is it a flaw in our character as human beings, is it a drug we cannot control and which if we do not get it, suffer withdrawal symptoms. There are many hurting people i know, those who daily, slog through the mire that life chucks at them, some do a great job at hiding it, others do a really poor job, because they cannot attach the mask properly. Last week someone told me it was "ok for you because God is on your side" yes thats true, but i believe God is on all our sides. The difference is i'm not immune to the troubles of life, i get down, i get stressed, boy do i get angry and at times i'm less than a good chap. But i believe God is there to see me through those times, i'm not alone, i'm not walking this path solo. Also i have some incredible friends, who despite their own difficulties are there for me when i need them, a phone call, a text, a stupid picture on my FB wall all helps in some way.
I have a very simple faith in God, it's not overly complicated in real terms. I'm no longer an analyst of what happens, i'm trying to move away from being theologically based and actually trying to be more compassionate, putting those things Jesus said into practise, and trying to show that even with my mass of imperfections that God is right beside me, he is walking with me, laughing with me, crying with me. That overall nothing i can do is going to make him think any less of me, he is truly a friend.
My friends mean the world to me, they make sense of a lot of what goes on and guide me along the path of my life. They show me by example what it takes to be a friend in the bad times as well as the good. I see God in my friends, i see people who despite me, love me, care for me and hold me up, they do just what God does. When i need to be corrected they do it, when i need a shoulder they are there. Looking for God does not require us to be constantly looking to heaven (it helps to occasionally) but that is not all we do. Look around you, see the grace people show to you as a gift from God, sometimes we concentrate so much on getting it right as Christians, that we miss the obvious, the right in front of us.
Being a Christian is not about always being right, it's not about how much better than you i am (because i'm not any better) it's not about, having the last word, or standing aloof from the troubles of life. For me a massive part of my faith is actually about standing in the trouble of life and paddling out of it and helping people paddle out of it, being involved in the good, the bad, the ugly. It's about involvement in all the things that being human are, not standing aside, but standing in the muck and the gold and celebrating with my friends.
I'm proud to be a Christian and i'm proud to stand with my friends in good and bad times, I'm so very proud of my wife as well, who is discovering her ministry and fulfilling what God wants her to do. IN FACT LIFE IS GREAT AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME, and it will be GREAT when the tough times come, because i will have people, who stand with me, show me they love me and support me. They will show me God even when they do not think they are.