Living in a Field of Hats

some ramblings and reflections on working with students in Herts and Beds.

Legacy November 11, 2009

Filed under: Christian Life — Sarah @ 11:58 pm
Tags: , ,

Today, I’ve listened to loads of my music collection as I’ve been working, and most of them I couldn’t tell you what they were right now, but there’s one that’s really gotten me thinking.

It’s by Nicole Nordeman, and it’s an album I’ve had for a couple of years but the first line of the song really made me think in relation to stuff that’s been going on recently. The line is “I don’t mind if you’ve got something nice to say about me“. I (like lots of other people I would guess) find it really tempting to not mind so much what negative things people say about me as long as there are others being nice to and about me! This is a situation that’s occurred recently and I realised today that my thinking has been pretty much along those lines which is totally wrong because I am becoming the centre of it all!

Nicole’s last words sum it up pretty well I think: “ I don’t have to look too far or too long awhile, To make a lengthly list of all that I enjoy, It’s an accumulating trinket and a treasure pile , Where moth and rust, thieves and such will soon enough destroy , Not well traveled, not well read, not well-to-do or well bred , Just want to hear instead, “Well Done” good and faithful one…“.”

It’s like the old “sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me”, except for the fact that names can indeed hurt us (a lot!) and it’s the fact that names don’t matter that’s important. What matters is hearing ” Well Done good and faithful one…” for fixing my eyes on Jesus and not wavering even when it’s so tempting! That has to be our motives for doing all things, not the praise we may get from “the world” because that won’t last – it’ll rot away. Others are important in encouraging us to keep going but it can not be their words alone that cause us to keep going, otherwise we are doing it merely for flattery!

Now there are issues of reconciliation and forgiveness involved here, and of course we must forgive those who have hurt us (even before they ask for it!) and must seek to be reconciled – but we do this because we are relationship with the God of the Universe and not because we want to leave a great legacy that screams in years to come “How great was s/he!”, but we want them to realise how great He is!

Ultimately I want to be one who ” hang[s] my hat on more besides the temporary trappings of this world” and constantly points to the one who made all things!

Here’s the full lyrics of the song:

I don’t mind if you’ve got something nice to say about me
And I enjoy an accolade like the rest
You could take my picture and hang it in a gallery
Of all who’s who and so-n-so’s that used to be the best
At such’n’such … it wouldn’t matter muchI won’t lie, it feels alright to see your name in lights
We all need an ‘Atta boy’ or ‘Atta girl’
But in the end I’d like to hang my hat on more besides
The temporary trappings of this world

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy

I don’t have to look too far or too long awhile
To make a lengthly list of all that I enjoy
It’s an accumulating trinket and a treasure pile
Where moth and rust, thieves and such will soon enough destroy

Not well traveled, not well read, not well-to-do or well bred
Just want to hear instead, “Well Done” good and faithful one…

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Light in the World November 1, 2009

Filed under: Christian Life,Church — Sarah @ 4:38 pm
Tags: , ,

This morning at church we looked at Matthew 5:14-16:

14″You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Bonnet, the pastor of Brethern in Christ church that shares Ferndales building was speaking and it was brilliant. He explored so many ways in which we are called to be light in this world! |The one that really struck me however was about ‘Doing the Unusual’.

He made the point that we often as Christians ‘do the usual’, so do what other people do. Do what is culturally acceptable.  And we do! This links into conversations I’ve had friends this week to do with Halloween and how we as Christians should celebrate it. i.e. do we totally avoid any dealings with it, or make a value judgment depending on what it is we’re doing. e.g. spending time with non Christian friends which has some Halloween content such as pumpkin carving and dressing up? I think I’d tend towards to the second but can understand why people would go for the first because we are called to be children of light . . .

But back to this morning, Bonnet gave the example of Desmond Tutu’s conversion which really struck me. Desmond grew up in South Africa during the apartheid so was used to the fact that he had to give white people the right of way whilst walking. According to wikipedia (not the most reliable of sources but pretty accurate this time I think) the story is as follows:

“One day”, said Tutu, “I was standing in the street with my mother when a white man in a priest’s clothing walked past. As he passed us he took off his hat to my mother. I couldn’t believe my eyes — a white man who greeted a black working class woman!”

This white priest did the unusual! He looked beyond the cultural norms and loved his neighbour, even though it would have been seen as awful.

This felt like such a challenge!