17.4.13

What matters?



It is interesting to read coverage by Sue Steiner today in the Guardian newspaper about the nurse who has explored the regrets that we are capable of articulating at the end of our lives. 
Bronnie Ware, Australian palliative care nurse has written a book exploring this. Perhaps this book might help us to think about the present and whether we are being really real with ourselves and the people around us now
If we are only to become aware of these things at the end of our lives, it's a bit late isn't it? 
As a Christian, death is not something that scares me like it did before I got to know Jesus. I mean it can't be nice when it hurts, and it sure is awful when it's too soon or if the circumstances are tragic but in itself I have to believe that it is not the end. I take God at his word and so there is Hope and though the bible gives many different pictures for what it will be like, when I leave this earthly life, all the images and pictures convey something really pretty cool, something pretty radical and something that is certainly going to be kind of awesome - that whole 'eternity bliss deal'  - I am seriously signed up for that! 

And so, no, 'I ain't too concerned,' you could say about the end.

... people might say to me 'but life is tough,' ... and 'regret isn't very Christian anyway, is it?'...and 'life is about other people and service' ....and 'suffering comes to us all' etc etc etc and all of that is true but Jesus also came to give us life in all its fullness, to release us from prisons of our own making and to enable us to become fully human. 

...so when we do look at him, he sure is pretty real with people: he doesn't hold back; he loves them but he doesn't compromise - he tells it as it is, as he did with Martha and Mary over Lazarus, as he did with that woman at the well. He didn't people-please. He didn't pretend, he didn't do things by halves or put them off until tomorrow. He had stuff to say about 'worrying.' He had stuff to say about captivity. He had stuff to say about untruths. 

...and so we might draw a kind of God-wisdom, with care, from Bronnie Ware's observations. 
...and so fundamentally...and to get to the point - 
How are you doing for these, then? 
1: Do you live a life true to yourself, not the life others expect of you? 
2. Do you work too hard at too high a cost?
3. Do you have the courage to express your feelings?
4. Do you stay in touch with your friends?
5. Do you let yourself be happy: do you laugh, are you silly?

Should we get real? 
How?
This...perhaps:
Face Your Regrets: describe them in detail. Express your feelings to yourself ... and others (with care). Then imagine yourself wrapping your regrets into “a package.” Take your package to the cross in your imagination. Hear God say 'I will help you sort this' and see him "get it"- that is, feel what you're feeling.

The Principle of Forgiveness:
The principle of forgiveness is cyclical: God wants to forgive. God wants us to want His forgiveness. Even more than that, God wants for us to want His love and forgiveness so that we then go on released by this to forgive others. He wants us to 'get it' too, to feel something of His ache, his 'Jesus-suffering.' He wants us to understand something of the ache of every human person. With this we will then set forgiveness in motion with Him, practising it and receiving it, delivering packages with and for people and for ourselves and watching the cycle of forgiveness, release and grace be set in motion again.

In doing this we get real. How have you lived and learnt through the experiences of regret and forgiveness?

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