One of the most difficult things for us humans to do is to think new thoughts. It is some of the hardest work you will ever do. It demands intentionality, persistence and a willingness to admit we need to change.
One phrase I have found most helpful in life is this one: ‘if you keep doing (or thinking) what you’ve always done (thought) you are only going to get more of what you already have’. This has real importance when we consider the ‘big questions’ – are we really, deeply happy with who we are? If this day were to be our last, would we be proud of the way we journeyed through this life?
Actually what first stirred this thought in me was the message delivered by Michael Curry at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. For many, especially here in England, the departure from what we would normally expect in such a ‘sermon’ was marked.
But he addressed on some of the most important points in life – the most important one of all actually – LOVE. There was no condemnation in his tone, there was the belief in God and in people, and there was passion. And however uncomfortable we might feel about passion in this context, it is central to life.
So why would we feel uncomfortable when a man speaks with passion about the most important subject of all?
Could it be that it’s a little too far out from what we are used to – that is just really stretched our thinking. As we said when we opened – if we want to experience new and better things see in our lives we will have to start thinking new thoughts. This wedding message was a great place to start that exercise.
I believe that God is deeply interested in people and helping us all live great lives. When what we call ‘religion’ assists that cause – wonderful. But when it hinders peoples’ life development and brings about a lifestyle of lack and ritual rather than life and freedom I think we have missed what God is trying to do for the people of this Earth that He loves so much.
Guest Author: Paul van Essen, pastor at Greater Life Missional Church in Staines, Surrey. He has seen first-hand the wonderful work of God in literally hundreds of positively transformed lives through the church he is leading.