Fresh Hope – 7th August 2019

I was particularly excited to be going on holiday with our young family many years ago, mainly because I’d borrowed a small camcorder from a friend.

They were the newest gadget around at the time and the thought of being able to film the family holiday, rather than taking snapshots, gave me a buzz.

I began to think of myself as a film director and had already planned in my mind a family reunion for after the holidays, in order to view the footage.

Having arrived at our holiday caravan, I carefully unpacked the film equipment and began to look for my first film set.

Highlights ranged from Gillian’s dad having his annual ‘in-house’ hair cut in his string vest, to scenery of woodland and beaches that I later found bored everyone to tears.

I became obsessed with my new gadget and it was never far from being strapped around my shoulder.

After our seven day family break, I got home exhausted. I’d been on holiday, but had been absent at the same time. I’d become the distant figure that filmed the whole thing but had made a big mistake in that I had never been in even one of the scenes, enjoying the moment.

I’d watched everyone playing and laughing, but had never engaged myself in any of it.

You may have well done exactly the same thing at the school play or end-of-year concert.

Instead of being there in the moment, you were the distant onlooker that filmed it to watch later.

You never smiled or applauded with every other parent, as you were too busy looking through your tiny lens to be present in once in a lifetime stardom for your child.

This distant memory has served well to remind me of how we can tend to live our lives in just the same way.

We are present and we are seeing what everyone else sees, but we are never engaged in the moment. We are too preoccupied with what’s coming next to enjoy the scene that we are living in right now.

Before we know it, life has been and gone and we have never played an active part in much of it.

Before you live another day, make a decision to engage yourself fully in all that each moment has to offer.

Count your blessings.

Laugh every day.

Enjoy being with friends and family.

Be thankful for life and health.

Be present in every situation and refuse to only keep waiting for the next scene to unfold.

Stop worrying about what may happen and be grateful for all that is part of your life right now.

Don’t be distant from people because you are too cautious, but throw yourself into every situation with passion.

Don’t watch life go by through the small lens of your narrow mindedness, but be present in every scene in order to be a blessing.

King Solomon was known as the wisest man on the planet. After all his searching for the meaning of life, he had this to say…

Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 ‘This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labour under the sun during the few days of life God has given them – for this is their lot. Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil – this is a gift of God. They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.’

Let today be the first day of the rest of your life.

Pastor Mark

A daily devotion for a better way of living.