London: I am feeling a bittersweet tug between guilt and joy right now….
I’ve eaten two of the most delicious apricots I’ve had since my father’s apricot puree on toast with peanut paste in Adelaide January two years ago.
They were just that amazing moment of ripeness between being too hard and too flavorless.
Yet they were imported from Spain. Given that I live a lifestyle where I fly to Australia once a year to see my beloved family, and elsewhere at least once on holidays to get some much-needed sunshine, I try really hard to minimise the amount of flown-in fruit and flowers that I consume.
I try to walk a good green path, to glorify my Father in heaven and show that I love His creation. But sometimes I just crack and then I feel guilty. That’s not even starting on the guilt I feel for not attending properly to my family, for not loving others properly, for being too weak to continue difficult relationships.
But what a lovely pearl of wisdom in my copy of The Lutheran last night. Dr Mike Semmler, the President of the Australian Lutheran Church, made this point: “As God’s own, in His hand, walking with our Saviour, in the light of salvation, we are free to make our earthly decisions, including our mistakes.”
“Nowhere are we bound to discover some pre-program of God for our everyday experiences so that we need to search for signs or feelings in daily decisions to please Him. How miserable to live life under such a law, frightened to displease God with a decision to eat this or that, or to buy or to sell, in case we get it wrong.”
That’s not to say that I can or should go trashing the planet, or not worry about loving my neighbor, but it is good to know that God is going to love me, has deliberately freed me through Christ, to live a life following His Way of love, not rules.
Not that the Way is easy either. But at least I don’t have to feel guilty to God when I occasionally crack and have my apricots – or when I need to do things that are difficult to reconcile with what is happening to our planet, such as fly to see my loved ones in Australia. God loves me. He created me. He does not want me to feel guilty for living but wants me to spend that energy on loving.
Dear Father God, my beloved Lord, Thank You for my monthly copy of the Lutheran. Thank You for the talented people who work there, and your faithful servants throughout the Lutheran Church. Father please also watch over my London church, where our vicar has had to serve notice. Please help us find another faithful vicar who can lead us ever closer to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen