Wednesday, November 09, 2011

9th November

Now then, today I’ve been trying to keep myself busy, in a relaxed sort of way. So I’ve been feeling quite sad and my goal is to try and avoid really sinking into depression. Anyway that meant a nice chain of activities to keep my mind occupied, together with some sense of satisfaction that I’ve not just wasted the day by crashing out with a book. But that can work as well. I’m getting fed up with feeling sad and it’s time now for me to start picking myself up. It’s almost 6 months since I lost Jane, and whilst the grief journey would be expected to continue for a good time yet, I reckon I ought to become a little more stable sometime soon. And really today I’ve done nothing that exciting, a few household chores, some decorating and then food shopping. But that took me through to lunchtime and I felt pretty good so I went for my 3 mile walk through the woods again. Only it was rather muddy and trying to rain, so very different from last month’s record breaking weather! For sure though, the weather is just not an issue, I love being outdoors, simply walking in beautiful and so very peaceful surroundings… apart from the occasional wild animal kill that is. Today it was a rather gruesome pigeon, but that’s nature I suppose and a real reminder of how difficult life can be.

I worked for around 30 years in the world of financial services. For nearly all of that time I was employed in that fast moving, target driven world as a financial advisor, and whilst I loved meeting so many wonderfully friendly customers I don’t think I ever really fitted into that job. At the time, it was simply a job I could do with fairly average performance – I genuinely think I was too honest and stubborn to be a high achiever, I ignored product targets - but it paid my bills. Actually my company pension still does. Maybe I ought to be careful what I say, but the reality was that much of that industry, as far as I could see back then, was built upon deception, manipulation and out and out lies. I hated being submerged in that world and trying to chart an honest path was always challenging, especially when some of the corporate training on achieving goals bordered on the demonic. Today I have a clear conscience regarding my own work, although I’ve lost touch with long term investment performance since I left. We pretty much all use insurance, mortgages, pensions and other investments at some time or other and they can be very useful products when sold properly. A number of times over the years I was able to pay out substantial insurance claims to people after major loss and that was always satisfying. I once had a female client burst into tears when I informed her of an investment maturity that she’d expected to be quite small… and it wasn’t so small after all! I loved meeting people, whilst hating much about the industry I worked for at the same time. And despite many attempts over the years I was never able to move on, and I still get the occasional bad dream… though not for a couple of days now.

The Bible gives us a glimpse of how life can be very different. Indeed that’s the life that Jane is living in heaven right now. A life without deception, without malice and without cruelty of any kind, and the power of lust and greed is broken as we embrace the power of goodness found in Jesus Christ. He calls us to a life of Godly love, where we honour him above everything. And we’re called to treat others as we would treat ourselves. Basically evil of every description is forbidden entry to heaven. And the call upon our lives is to share just a little bit of heaven with the world around us. We don’t belong here, we belong in the Kingdom of Heaven. All that we endure here is temporary, one day earthly pain and discomfort will end for us all. The big question though is… what next? For me my walk with Jesus Christ is everything, and I have complete assurance that he will receive me to himself when my turn to step into eternity arrives.

1 John 5:11-13 ‘And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life. I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.’ (NLT)

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