Life is Worth Living

I am grateful as I sit here writing; I am warm, dry and going home. As I look out of the train window at the pouring rain, the grey and cold I can feel nothing but contentment. Although it hasn’t escaped my attention that I am feeling what I usually feel in winter when looking out of the window and it’s May. I have been in London to see my Spiritual Director. London was cold and wet and most people looked unhappy so to be heading back to Briz brings a sense of peace. I went to see my spiritual director because Video calls no longer cut it for me and I want to try and bring a greater sense of ‘normality’ to my life, to try to live.

On Saturday I went for a walk with a friend, we went to the Harbour Side and I was astounded, the whole way was filled with people, mainly young people, out, eating, drinking, socialising, having fun: living. It awoke something within me, it sparked a memory of a past I used to know, that I used to take for normal.  It appears that the young may be the nations’ salvation as we exit lockdown, they may teach the rest of us that life is worth living and how to live it. Maybe it is always those with most to lose who show others what is important. 

One would hope though that it would be people of Faith and Christians that would be leading the way in ‘how to live life’. We recognise that life is a precious gift and that we have been called to live in connection with one another. But it has occurred to me over this pandemic that the Church has lost a sense of its soul, maybe its imagination. As a physical institution it has become  focussed on risk and regulation (COVID bought plenty of that) but at a loss to the presence and power of a God who walks with us.

I have always relied on the people I meet to add some energy to my life. Hearing family, friends or parishioners share the exciting things they have done, places they have been, people they have spent time with is always interesting. Of course when I meet people now, all they have to share is the minute details of their very limited lockdown lives or their struggles. I haven’t too much to share with them either. I am sure it is the same for all of us. The life we get from community and connection is a little limited. Hence my trip to London, its life, its connection, its spirituality, it is living. The more we can learn to live again, all of us can hopefully be more alive.

This morning on the radio I heard a statement that the virus will be with us for many years to come. Are we going to put off living for those years, so worried that we will not be confident to do the living? Or will we try to live the life we have been given even if it kills us? Choices! Having seen some life and having had my imagination woken from its slumber I know where my heart lies, even if it take me a while to shake off the fear and pain that the pandemic has woven in my soul. Jesus spoke words true for every age: ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’

Fr Tom

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