Tag Archives: purpose

Trap or Treasure?

Ever since I can remember, I have felt “called” into a specifically “christian” ministry. I toyed with the idea of being a singer and actress for a while, quickly dismissed the idea of teaching primary school children, rejected the idea of nurse because it involved science etc etc.

All the ideas I considered were never really more than that. Just ideas. Because from the age of five – I’ve known that I have a job to do. I had no idea, of course, of shape and name at that age. But I wanted to be a missionary, a preacher, wanted to work for the Church which I loved so much.

Indeed, the calling got me through my GCSEs and A-Levels. When I wanted so badly to throw in the towel, the knowledge that I needed qualifications to get into LST meant that I carried on.

It has been a massive encouragement and blessing to me, to have an inkling of where I’m headed. God has been incredibly gracious in prodding and calling me on in the right direction, in promising me a future when I was lost in the past. I have treasured my calling.

And yet.

Recently it has begun to feel like a trap.

Because this is hard. This life, is hard.

It takes so much energy, to be the person I feel called to be, to lay my story out for people to poke, prod and question.

And sometimes, I wish for a different life. I wonder if a different life would be less painful. Less all-consuming. Less of a sacrifice?

Because what if I walked an easier road? A comfortable job that didn’t involve the questions?

What if I could feel, for once, like a twenty-two year old instead of a forty-two old?

Perhaps these feelings are some kind of long forgotten and neglected rebellion?

Perhaps, it’s just been a long week.

But the difficulties of this life, this one where I’m called to bare my soul and speak of my vulnerability, this one which uses the pain instead of burying it – it is, after all, the path I chose.

For all my sense of calling, I chose to say ‘yes’. I chose to write and speak about those things which most scarred my soul.

I choose the light instead of giving into the lure of the darkness.

It is a choice I would make again. And again.

And so I guess, this is the price I pay. It is not, in perspective, a very high price. I gave up my “right” to give up on life. I gave up my “right” to give up on God.

I have been through too much to give up now.

I need reminding of that, today of all days. I can see it as a burden, a trap.

Or I can be reminded of the grace it took to get me to today.

 

So I choose to be reminded of grace – to see the gift, instead of the trap.

 

It isn’t easy.

 

I trust that it is worth it.

 

The Church of Jeremy Kyle

So, in the midst of studentdom – mornings in bed with a cup of coffee and a book are standard…and the background noise – The Jeremy Kyle Show.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, the presenter tries to solve relationship problems, addictions etc with his confrontational presenting style. His catchphrase? ‘I’m only being honest’.

Every morning people appear on the stage, expletives falling from their mouths like acid rain claiming that X slept with Y and Z has a drink problem and may not be the biological father of Y’s baby. There are women, desperate to escape violent relationships, children searching for absentee mothers and fathers, young people struggling with addictions to self-harm and food.  Lie detector and DNA tests ensue and they may be seen by the man Jeremy calls ‘The Genius’ the show’s resident psychologist. After Jeremy delivers his verdict and advice – to separate, be a Father, stick together or use the help being offered by the ‘excellent after-care’ team, the individuals leave the stage – together or apart to go on with the rest of their lives.

After a discussion with a friend – we wondered where the Church was in these sorry stories of society.

Once upon a time, the provision of care for the fatherless, the relationship counselling and the troubled individuals; was the Church. It was at the forefront of social care.

Now, in order for people to get the help they so desperately need, they must embarrass themselves on national television. Air their dirty laundry in public, have a stranger on TV tell them about family planning and the support available for social and mental disorders.

Why is it, that people would rather go on TV, than step through a Church’s doors?

In the Bible, Jesus approaches the prostitutes and outcasts – and now they will not come near the Church? Where did we go wrong that the very people Jesus welcomed are the people who feel most rejected by Church?

The love of God is powerful that if we have committed our lives to Him – His love should shine right through us to those around us. It should make people – all people want to know what is different about us, why we love the people we meet regardless of their situations.

If the Church of Christ was what it is meant to be…surely there would be no need for The Church of Jeremy Kyle?