Having been back in JHB for almost a week now I feel the pressure… the endless voice of the Invisible Man insisting that you need to be doing better… you need to worry about money. You need to worry about where your life’s going. You’re not performing well enough, man. You need to be making something out of your life, you’re not doing enough. Where are you going? Argh! Man, he can irritate me.
I think one of the principal things you learn while on holiday is what is of real value. And, in the end, what’s of real value is God and friends and family. That’s of real value. Really. Of course I want to enjoy my job. Of course I want to make a difference in this world. But the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed which produces a harvest. It’s the small things that matter, the small things that are of worth, the small things that bring us joy. It’s in the small things… the free things… that you really find God. JHB can make you forget that. With it’s continuous humdrum of restlessness and pursuit of so called ‘bettering your life’ all it’s doing is making you forget what really matters.
This is why, I think, I often feel quite alone here. I’m not saying I feel LONELY, only ALONE. My week is nothing but about performing well… oftentimes, even at church. Deep down, I just want to be with my friends. I Just want to ‘be.’ Delirious used to sing a song called ‘All I want is you’ and there was a line that said “Maybe I can just call up my friends, play some music, be myself. All I want is you Lord.”
That’s really how I wish I could live my life. But so many voices around me tell me that that’s not how I ought to live. But God is amongst us when we get together as his people. Probably more than when we get together to perform a program or to DO something. I don’t really want to DO church anyway, I only want to BE it… and BE it together, with my friends, my brothers and sisters, and all those who will be my friends in the future.
The challenge is to live your life for what really matters despite what the Invisible Man says to you over your shoulders… “You’re wasting time man, life is short. You need to make your stamp on history. Make enough money for you to retire well, and your kids to do well.” These things can even sometimes sound so holy, but they’re just a red herring. In the words of the great Jack Black from School of Rock “You got to stick it to the man!” Thanks Barry Griggs for that reminder!