Something I have written for the local website. Should go on there sometime next week.
I watched something the other day about a 17 year old who was sent to live in Jamaica for 3 weeks to live with a family there. The reason he was sent there was because he had real behavioural problems and his mum was looking for some help in dealing with his temper. His dad had left his mum a year earlier and this event had caused him to spiral out of control. The family he went to live with were a strict Jamaican family who believed in discipline and bringing children up to respect themselves and their parents. This guy didn’t settle in his new surroundings very easily. Everyone found it difficult until something happened that changed everything.
He was taken to see a man called Micah. Micah was 19 years old and lived in a corrugated iron shack. The roof had holes in it and their possessions were minimal. He had six brothers and sisters, all younger than him. 1 year earlier a hurricane swept through the island of Jamaica destroying much of the island, including Micah’s home. Not only that but both Micah’s parents were killed in the hurricane. So he found himself caring for his 6 brothers and sisters. He was at college but gave it up to go to work so he could provide for his family. What was also incredible was that Micah constantly had a massive smile on his face. He said that he doesn’t know why his parents were killed and why he found himself in the situation he was in, but he knew that God would get him though it all and that God would always be there for him. For Micah there is more to life than what we own or have, for Micah the most important things in life are family, faith and love. This encounter with Micah transformed this 17-year-old lad and made him realise all that he has and how thankful he is for it.
The current financial crisis is like a hurricane sweeping through the world and our nation. We are finding businesses failing, jobs being lost and homes under threat. The hurricane seems to building momentum and it is hard to predict what course it will take and the strength of its destruction. What we do know is that it is affecting us and it’s hard for so many of us. At times like this it is important that we stick together as a community and look to be a means of love and support to each other. If we can help each other we need to. Maybe we can cook for each other, car share, laugh together and cry together. It’s important that we know we have each other to cling on to as the winds of financial crisis blow through our communities. I believe that this time will also help us see the bigger picture about what really matters in life.
Jesus once said do not worry about the things we own, but rather seek first God’s way of life. Seek first love, truth and justice. Jesus said if we seek God’s way of life then we will know wholeness and peace and understand what’s really important. Maybe at this time we need to look at what is really important. Family and friends. Love. Faith.
Please don’t hear me wrong, I’m not making light of the pain and hurt people feel at this time due to the current financial climate, but what I’m saying is that life is more than the clothes we wear and the things we own. Jesus said that he came to bring life in all its fullness. He wasn’t talking about a full bank account or home full of things, but a life bursting with peace and love. Maybe we need to take our eyes off the God of money who is crumbling in the winds and won’t be around forever, and put our eyes on the God of heaven and earth who can never be moved.