Do you have a wish list? Things to do before you die. Places to visit, people to meet or books to read?
The novelist Ian Rankin has made headlines recently. Sadly, it’s because he is seriously ill and may not have long to live. He’s decided to go public about his reaction to this and to tell us what he plans to do. One thing he’s going to do is to marry his girlfriend. Our best wishes go to them and our prayers go to God for them.
That’s a brave thing for him to do and when we stop to consider it, it brings our life into sharp focus. Let’s forget for a moment all of the everyday stuff that we have to do and think about what it is that we really want to do. If we were told we’d only got a day to live, and we could do anything at all, what would it be?
Some of my wishes would be: go to the seaside, go to Paris for lunch, and go shopping in town … not necessarily in that order! I hope they would make good memories for the family and friends I’d take with me, but none of those things would make a lasting effect on the world would they?
Maybe I should think again. When Jesus knew that he had got less than a day to live, he chose to spend his time like this: he had a meal with his friends, he prayed for them and he cared for them by washing their feet. He certainly gave his friends some good and lasting memories because we still remember them today. He left behind a good example, great advice on how to live life and a promise. The promise is that God will always be with us because of Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit is God with us, God inside us, God helping us to understand God and know what to do and how to live. Holy Spirit is a gift we have and we have this gift because of what Jesus chose to do before he died. So, maybe this month, why not decide to ask God to be part of our lives, the way we think and the things we do?
Here is a prayer which you might like to pray. Be warned though, praying this might change your life!
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.
So, Lord Jesus, you have promised, and so we believe.
Open our hearts to receive the Spirit in all his gracious fullness, and make us sensitive to his guidance,
that we may know your mind and do your will, for your name’s sake. Amen.
Prayer written by Frank Colquhoun and taken from Contemporary Parish Prayers.
If you’d like to have a chat about any of these things, please get in touch.
God bless you,