Hey guys, again I realise it’s been a while since i last wrote something….. what can I say? Haven’t had any real time in the last few weeks to pause and write what God has been challenging me about even though I have wanted to. So better late than never, hey?!
I wonder if you have either watched the musical/film “Rent”, or heard any of the songs from the soundtrack? Well I haven’t actually watched it, but there is one song that comes right at the beginning of the musical called “seasons of love”. This song kinda sums up the idea that the musical is the story of one year in the life of a group of friends; and as my life right now has been revolving around a year and what I can do and learn in a year this song has really spoken volumes to me.
I’m gonna share the lyrics with you and then talk about what this song has taught me……
525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes – how do you measure,
measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. In
inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. In 525,600 minutes – how do you
measure a year in the life?
How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love. Seasons of
525,600 minutes! 525,000 journeys to plan. 525,600 minutes – how can you measure
the life of a woman or man?
In truths that she learned, or in times that he cried. In bridges he burned, or
the way that she died.
the love! Remember the love! Remember
the love! Measure in love. Seasons of love! Seasons of love.
….So they are the lyrics to a rather freaking amazing song!! And this song has spoken to me so much over the last few months. At the beginning of this summer term I started to think about how I would deam my gap year a success, what would make me believe that my year in Weston has been beneficial and at the end of the day worth doing! Some tough questions to ponder over….
Looking back to the first post of this blog, back in November which seems ages ago and just like yesterday all in one go, I spoke about how tough things were and how hard life was at that point. I talked about how I thought I’d realised that youthwork was all about sowing seeds and not watching them grow, but then actually coming round to the idea that I didn’t understand this at all. I spoke of how easy things would be if just one young person acted as if they understood why I was doing what I was. I listed all of these things that would make my life and my job easier…. and I never once spoke of the thing that was most important to my year. Never once talked about the thing that is most important in life, the very source and sustainer of life itself. Never once considered love.
When I started my year in Weston I wasn’t stupid enough to think that I would conclude this year was good one if I got a good number of kids to come along to chucrh, converted a few to Christ, made hundreds of new friends, felt like the popular new chick and ultimately found my future husband…..but did I kinda want that to happen anyway?!? Of course I did!!! And so by November when I started this blog and none of that was happening did i feel like I was failing?! Hell yeah!!!
So what had to change was me, what had to change were my ideals, what radically needed to be taken and shaken so hard that things turned upside down was my idea that “something” needed to happen to make a year a “success”. What I desperately needed to learn was that nothing matters apart from love, what makes a life full is how full of love it is, what makes a life a success is the depth of the love in that life. And so slowly, shakily, uncertainly over the last few months I have started to focus more on love and less on everything else.
So how is this new philosophy going?! Everyday is a hard lesson in trying to let go of more of the old way of thinking and picking up more of the new. Everyday is a battle realising that nothing else matters other than love. I honestly believe that understanding how you are loved, why you are loved is the most simple yet complx thing in the world; the easiest but the hardest thing to grasp…..but it is always, always worth trying!! And so I do; day in, day out.
So ignoring everything else, forgetting all of the other standards to measure by. Have I had the best year of my life? Yes. Would I change any single part of my past year? Not a chance! And, ultimately, has this year been a success? Not a doubt in my mind!! And why am I so sure of all of these things?? Because I know, I know, that I love and am loved by those who I have met this year. The kind of love that makes your heart pound, makes your throat tight and makes your eyes swim when you think about it for too long. The kind of love that gives you a huge lump in your throat because you know it will stay with you for life, and without it you wouldn’t be half the person it has made you in to.
So to sum all this up for you I’m gonna finish with one other quote from Moulin Rouge. “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” I challenge you to drop all the other measures that the world holds up, I challenge you to take the simple measure that we have the perfect example of in Christ and use it to help you in filling your life with love!! I encourage you to dare to believe just how loved you are by so many people (If you’re reading this, have stuck this far with me in this blog, then I can tell you pretty safely that I love you more than you will probably know!!) . I dare you to tell the people that you love about it, shout it from the roof tops if that’s what it takes to get them to see and believe they are loved!!
Someone very wise told me recently (when I had briefly forgotten my new philosophy for a few wobbly moments) that they loved me because of me and not because of my job or what I do. My very simple prayer for you today is that someone would let you know this. That we would all drop the worldly measures of jobs, status, merits and awards and just believe that we are loved for who we are and not what we do.
And finally my prayer is that we would all view this next year as a “success” simply beacuse it 525,600 minutes full of love. 525,600 minutes of love shared and love expressed.