Blue Flower

In response to a request from Darryl Stewart, I gladly write the blurb.  6/10/13

 

For many years I was in an institutional church setting where I had security, status, position, and a large measure of control. Challenged by the fact that Jesus engaged with the marginalised, and that he was welcomed by and felt at home with the marginal/‘in between’ groups of society, I knew I could not stay where I was.

So began an adventure that that involves learning to be still and listen; reorientation and learning for the first time; knowing and being known; waiting, waiting, waiting; loneliness and times of lostness and despair. Most importantly though, a growing love affair with Jesus.

I seek to engage with my neighbours, and participate in community groups. A lifestyle choice has been to surrender my car. Now I walk, use public transport, and cadge the odd lift from friends. This is the situation of many people where I live. It has had the effect of slowing me down, of making life less ‘efficient’, but opening me up to greater engagement with people. It aids me in my desire to live in the Divine Centre. Each day as I step out my door, I consciously endeavour to die to self, so that Jesus may have His way in and through me. My aim is to see the people I meet not as potential converts, but as people. This leaves me free to be myself, and free to do what the Lord wants.

Jesus has brought together a group of disciples who meet at my place. We eat together, talk about life over the meal, pray, laugh, celebrate birthdays, and learn about Jesus together. I also join them in Twelve Step programmes. These dear friends teach me so much about life and following Jesus!

Recently I took family, 23 of us, for a holiday on a farm near the little town where I was born. This trip was 2-3 years in the planning. We had a wonderful time of learning about family history, meeting country people, valuing the gift of land, having faith conversations, enjoying being with one another, and luxuriating in the splendour of the surrounds of the NSW-Qld border ranges. God blessed us big time! I’m hoping we’ll have many more shared experiences together, where by words and deeds, I can sow into the lives of my family.

Present and ongoing challenges are learning contentment, and that I’m not meant to be in control. Constantly engaging in thanksgiving, whatever the circumstances, is something I practise. God is teaching me to wait, and to be okay about that. Also, I fast from advertising, most of the news, and rarely seek to be entertained (no TV). This minimises feelings of fear and discontent which can undo my head and motivate me to try to work it all out myself!

This is a snapshot of part of my life at the moment. More and more I understand that moving ahead with Jesus means that life is messy and full of faith challenges. Being resident aliens means devotion to Him and His agenda, not mine. I think I’m making some progress.

God bless you in your faith adventure with Him.

John Buchannan.