His life as your life


Some people are excellent at organising. But they live in personal chaos. Their houses can be mayhem or their relationships with self and others parlous. In this they might represent us all in our lack of wholeness and self-harmony.

Much of society has run amok. Some Australians like to blame Aborigines, except that Alan Bond was not an aborigine. Others like to blame the poor for being for, except that the global financial crisis was caused by the rich. Largely it has been the poor that paid for it however.


Exactly who is responsible for the fish-kill in the Murray-Darling basin is not clear. What we know is that it was not caused by prudent management and lack of greed. When this river system has dried up expect that those who did it will not blame themselves. They will want to blame the Greens, or the Aborigines or the Muslims. ‘Any long bow’ will do so long as it’s not ourselves. Chaos must find a scape-goat. In the beginning it was Eve - even though there is some thought that separation began with Adam.

We are not whole but we can be. The solution is already here. But it’s not a program. It’s Christ as us personally and Christ as us all collectively.

Charles Ringma observes, “It hardly needs to be said that this approach to our circumstances is less than productive. It blinds us to what is good in our present situation, and it constantly shifts the responsibility regarding what is happening to us "over there."

A far more productive approach is that we own our circumstances as being the result of our own choices and begin to entertain the question: What is God seeking to do in my life through my present circumstances? Nouwen records the advice he received from a fellow priest: "The issue is not where you are, but how you live wherever you are.” Frequently the most relevant issue for us is not a change of circumstances, but a change of self. A change of self does not occur through avoidance behavior. It takes place when we face our excuses and rationalizations and assume responsibility for what we are making of our lives.” (1)

(1) Charles Ringma. Dare to Journey--with Henri Nouwen (Designed for Influence) (Kindle Locations 171-176). Kindle Edition.