My passion has for years to show people how Jesus Christ is relevant to all of life. If I really believe in him, that he is who he says he is – the Son of God come into the world to save us from our sins and renew all things – then of course that is relevant to all of life. Jesus has to be relevant to our politics, our personal lives, our marriages, our inner lives, our sexuality, our economics, our law, our morality, our sport. He has to be relevant to everything. And not just relevant, but central. He has to underpin it all. If it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t have any politics, morality, sport etc.
Related to this for me is the passion to show that the Western way of living that I have been a part of and contributed to for all of my 43 years, doesn’t work. That it is indeed killing us; that it is what Brian McLaren calls the ‘suicide machine;’ a completely unsustainable way of life that will one day come to a shattering end and will change the world like it has never been changed before.
I have recently written about the culture of addiction in our Western lifestyles. In a society where study after study shows that money doesn’t make us happy, we are still encouraged to go out and have it all, and to have it now. No interest repayments for 50 months, Powerball prizes of $50 million, that dream holiday to get away from it all. We succumb to the dream and we get taken along for the ride.
At the same time we have an epidemic of depression, anxiety, addiction, obesity and loneliness such as the world has also never seen before. It is no coincidence that this has happened at the same time as we have been growing richer and richer, to the point that we are the richest generation of any in the history of humankind. Something is wrong.
My passion is to show the world the relevance of Jesus Christ for all of the world’s woes. It sounds old-fashioned and even arrogant in a postmodern world where tolerance and relativism are the prevailing cultural attitudes. But I am convinced that Jesus is the answer. Like Sheila Cassidy and millions of others around the world, I have the audacity to believe that Jesus in our lives can make a lasting and eternal difference to the world.
What is your passion? What drives you? What is it that makes you come alive, that gets your juices flowing? The things I have mentioned above are what give me meaning. I believe they are eternally significant and that therefore they have ultimate purpose. Living a life of selfishness does not bring purpose for me. That’s why it is no surprise that such a life leaves me flat and lacking energy. We need an infusion of something else, something from outside. We need something bigger than ourselves. We only find ourselves when we are part of something bigger than us. When we place ourselves at the centre of our lives we end up disillusioned.
I heard someone say years ago that life is too short to be selfish. For us it is ‘one life, you gotta do what you should’ as U2 sing in their superb song, One.
Tomorrow I will look at how we so often fall short of living this sort of meaningful life and how I believe we can start living it.