SPIRITUAL MATTERS: The rollercoaster of life
LIFE’S a rollercoaster! It follows a seemingly endless loop of twist and turns and ups and downs that can leave our heads spinning and our senses stimulated by joy and laughter, grief and sorrow.
Today is a case in point. After 11 years of penning this column and seeing it in print around the Clarence Valley, of fielding the questions it’s raised and absorbing the overwhelmingly positive feedback, it comes to an end. I’m one of those deeply regretting the demise of the humble newspaper. This new digital world has failed to impress me as a substitute for time-honoured print media.
So, as the proud historic legacy of The Daily Examiner with its local, national and international focus becomes itself, a relic of history, this scribe rues its passing. And is this where it will end? I think not.
So the rollercoaster of life goes on, and as someone once said, the only thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history. We perpetuate mistakes, lose vital values and practices and allow language to deteriorate!
I was reminded of this by an e-mail this week. Condensed a little, it read: Many years ago, my dad met a stranger, new to our small town. Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and invited him to live with our family.
As I grew up, I never questioned his place in the family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. Mum taught me good from evil. Dad taught me obedience. But the stranger was our storyteller, keeping us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies. If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers. The stranger never stopped talking. Dad didn’t seem to mind but sometimes Mum would get up quietly and go to the kitchen for peace and quiet.
Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honour them.
While profanity was not allowed in our home, our long-time visitor got away with four-letter words that burned my ears, made my dad squirm and my mother blush. My Dad didn’t permit the liberal use of alcohol, but the stranger encouraged us to try it regularly. He made cigarettes look cool. He talked freely about sex – his comments blatant, sometimes suggestive and generally embarrassing. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents – yet he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave.
More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. But he’s not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. If you could walk into my parents’ home today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk.
His name? We just call him ‘TV.’
So yes, our lives do change. And some change is okay; positive; even good. But not all!
Thank you! And stay safe in Jesus.
Future editions of Spiritual Matters will continue to be published every Sunday online at www.dailyexaminer.com.au