|From the Rectory |
In the last couple of months I have set about writing my life's story. Not because it is particularly interesting or scandalous. I have split the story, into six chapters, one for each decade so far. I'm not a morbid person, but who knows what life will hold in the future. Maybe I'll start forgetting it all or muddle it up as I grow old and become confused.
Looking back, through rose tinted glasses no doubt, it all seems to have been such jolly good fun. I sat at the computer and found myself laughing out loud as I typed some of it up. I have been amazed at just how much I can recall, and in such detail. I've tried to be honest, although I can't put it all in, so some selectiveness has been necessary. Lys is proof reading it for me, she said, how nice it was to look back on some of the events and re-live them.
I now have two grand-children, and I want them to know who I was and what I did with my life. Again, not because it's worthy to be written down, but because it is a part of their family history. I know really very little about my own family's background. I come from a generation where children were to be seen and not heard, kept out of conversations that would have filled in the gaps that I now have about my ancestors. They were also a generation, and maybe the war years are responsible in some way for their reticence, that didn't say very much, or write any of it down.
I often meet with families who are bereaved, and I ask about the deceased, who they were, what they did, where they had been in life. I am amazed how little some of them are able to tell me, even when the departed loved one has lived into old age. I frequently learn after the Funeral Service, from those there, amazing stories of bravery and daring-do, very little of which is offered when I meet with the family to plan the service. That is so sad.
If those followers of Jesus had not recorded the events of his life we would have no Gospels or Epistles. There would be no record of the signs and wonders, the teachings, healings, and miracles that he performed. Furthermore we would not know of his death and resurrection. We would in fact be without the Christian faith. The Bible, Old and New Testaments are not only records of faith and instructions for life; they are the earliest historical records that we have. The ancient peoples wanted to pass on their wisdom and insights, their experiences of life and their relationship with God. We are so lucky to have all of that.
Down through the centuries diarists like Samuel Pepys and Anne Frank enable us to understand in detail the events and thoughts of a by gone age. I also keep a daily diary. Are any of you recorded in its pages? Will some of you find a mention in my autobiography I wonder?
What will my grand children make of me when they read it? What sort of character will emerge from the pages? They will learn, I hope, that they are loved, and that they are a delight to me. A delight I never took for granted or expected to be given me, but a treasure to be cherished of that there is no doubt.
Did anyone ever believe all those centuries ago when they wrote the Bible stories that the civilised world would one day cherish their writings, or that the world would acknowledge their unique and irreplaceable value for humankind's continued learning and living. If only they had known how the story went on, and on, and on. But they didn't, which is why it's so important for us to read our Bibles, to re-tell the stories of Jesus and his life and to try to show in the way we live our lives that it's all still relevant and valuable. It's not just about the dusty lives of yester-year, but about the living, exciting, pulsating life of today. Jesus isn't known as the living Lord for nothing. Why not write your stories down, maybe include one or two in this magazine. I'll watch future issues with interest.
Yours for Christ's sake.