Wednesday, 1 October 2014

the 99%

I am part of the 99%.

We are hypocrites.

Oh dear, he's off on a rant.

We protest against fracking in our country, against nuclear weapons in our country, against restrictions of civil liberty in our country. There's a host of things we don't want in our country. And sometimes we raise our voices for things we would like to see happen in our country too.

Which is all well and good - except we are quite happy that the things we don't like happen somewhere else and we can benefit. Did you choke on your tea there? Tell me that nothing in your life has come at someone else's loss.

I don't want fracking due to the general irresponsibly of the process. But I'll still put fuel in our car that could have come from places like Angola and Ghana which are equally beautiful and arguably more at risk of being left severely damaged by the processes of oil extraction, refinement and transport.

I ride an aluminium bike. I ride it a lot rather than taking the car. But then aluminium is one of the most environmentally-damaging metals to mine and refine.

I really don't want nuclear power or weapons, and may choose my energy supplier accordingly, but I still plug in scored of electrical and electronic devices. So there's still a cost.

And no matter your views, let's not start on the perceived oppression of Europe, Westminster or Holyrood. Do you get to leave your house? Do I get to choose who I work for? Do my children have the chance of an education and life expectancy of more than 20 years?

Can I freely and with confidence proclaim that I am a follower of Jesus and I have faith the God can do more than I can ask or imagine? Yup.

I ran for 13.5 miles to STOP HOMELESSNESS. And do I look for ways to stop the causes of homelessness in the other ways I live?

I might make noise about things that I don't like. You may do that too.

But I perhaps today I have my eyes a little wider. And my awareness a little broader. And my longing a little bit fuller.

And I get it. I understand we're not responsible for other people's land. And I'm not for unilateral action and enforcing my world as the only way. And I am not the saviour of the universe. Nor am I the only one who cares about these things.

BUT, if I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal, then I have no love. I have no consideration for the impact of my actions.

Can I raise my voice for local or regional action without being mindful of what impact my actions are having elsewhere.

If I do, I am a hypocrite.

I'm happy for someone else to suffer as long as I don't.

Our desire for cheap goods has made China's economy what it is today. We knew what we were doing (getting more for less). But did we really know what we were doing? (international trade history in two sentences, I think not).

While I hope for a fairer system of government, I might shake my head 

And I write this in a wearied state of mind, and in very stark language. But such is the way of clouded thoughts and tension. 

That's it. We hold this in tension.

I'm part of the 99%. And I would like to see that change.

Wouldn't you?

Friday, 21 September 2012

Back from wherever

It's usually good to take time out from something you enjoy, just every once in a while.

To get a fresh perspective, I sometimes need to get out of the instant connection to a thing. 

Often a wee lateral thinking game can help change your perspective or look at a thing differently. But, to break out of a rut of giving way too much focus to the minutiae of the digital connection I had across multiple platforms, I needed to switch off a few things and focus my finite attention in other places.

It wasn't about shunning people or technology. Or about trying to be better than anyone. Nope. It was about focus and attention. You guys are great, but you aren't the source of love, hope, grace or peace that I need to more than just survive.

And now I'm back. And so what, I hear you say. Who cares?

So what happened? What did I learn? What mysteries have been brought to light? What creative genius has been sparked?

To be honest; not a lot.

Actually, that's not true. Mrs theWeir and I have had a pile of good times. And I finally sorted out calendar sharing so we know what's going in without having to have a daily meeting. Not that we ever did. Which may have been part of a wider thing.

But no matter.

I also cleared up my to-do list and work email box. Both down to zero before we went on holiday. Some hard decisions had to be made about priorities, but a fixed end date and a strong desire to not change it meant things got done that needed done.

Even better was being away in another part of our beautiful country, being a wee family unit, seeing friends, doing relaxed-pace things and getting to take some pictures.

Having a suspected shin-splint put a swift halt to my running for a few weeks too. Which was quickly replaced by finding longer (and quicker) cycling routes to work.

And I found other things to take the place of reading a Facebook timeline or Twitter feed every few hours. 

Then I started playing Angry Birds.

I'd love to write this and say that I made a more concerted effort to pray and listen for God speaking as I read the bible. And while I certainly did more of both things, there was no earnest early mornings.

But I did pray more. And I certainly read more. But I think I have been listening more. Actually I'd say I'm listening the same, but I'm listening for something different. For a still small voice.

As I re-engage with social media, I'm praying I keep listening. Keep putting God first. You guys are great. But He is greater.

Grace and peace.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

soft on Yeltsin

I remember reading this article nearly a year ago.

Mr Gorbachev talked about some of his regrets. How he should have known better. Mr G has regrets, but he didn't do anything at the time. So are they just rose-tinted and fuelled by hindsight and a desire to have remained in power for longer? I don't know as I can't ask the man what the real motivations were.

I'm sure most of us don't want to get to the point where we find ourselves at 80 years old (Lord willing) with a pile of things we wish we'd said or done.

Of lessons we wish we'd learned the first few times, not the twentieth time. Or we've still not learned.

Lots of sporting analogies and blasé statements fill our Twitter streams and Facebook feeds. The reality is, however, that life is all about making decisions.

Too often, I think we make the decision to drop out. To not even make a choice and *let fate decide*. Really?

Is that life in all it's fullness?

I don't think so. I'm not for making 100 strategic decisions about your day before you've got out of bed.

But there's an opporuntity for those of us who want to listen for the Spirit of God as we follow the way of Jesus to find out there's much grace to be discovered as we make decisions in light of His truth and His mercy. If He is with us, are we paying attention? Are we bothered? There's no magic formula, but by faith all things are possible.

In fact, maybe we can avoid regret by spending less time looking through the rose-tints and more time in the present that shapes the future.

How do you do it?