It is about this time of year when we tend to ponder the greatest love story ever told. The love that came at greatest cost but brought the greatest reward.
Jesus didn’t come so that we could survive, he came that we could thrive. So that we could be absolutely showered in the blessings that he deserves but would rather share with us, even if it did mean dying a horrific death.
“I have come that you may have life and have it to the full.” That’s the promise we have in Jesus, that we can live life abundantly in everything we do. This last week of term for me has been absolutely amazing and not because of any one big event or exciting adventure but because of a series of little pockets of perfection.
On Wednesday, it was glorious weather and I got to spend the time walking home from campus unexpectedly with a friend, catching up about everything and marveling over a beautiful bird of prey. In the evening I had a lovely dinner with a family from church before going to a lent course learning about the privilege of prayer and the incomprehensible connection we now have with God thanks to this day.
On Thursday I had my explorers hat on teaching children about the environment and planting vegetables in the sunshine. I then went to my friends flat for dinner before all the fun of a St Patrick’s day bar crawl, playing and singing along to folk music in every bar.
Friday we were already starting planning for our carol service this year, and as far off as it seems it is such an exciting endeavour and an absolute privilege to be a part of it all. I then went home to the emotional roller-coaster that was watching all three Toy Story films one after another with my friend, inspiring my Jessie costume for my friend’s Disney themed birthday party that night. She let me stay at hers as I had rehearsals on campus in the morning and even gave me her bed as we rolled in at three in the morning, like a good old fashioned girlie sleepover.
Saturday was a day of musical enjoyment, starting with nine thirty choir rehearsals and somehow ending up last minute playing the nicest clarinet I’ve ever played in another ensemble where the only music of the set I had seen before was the kazoo part. This was all for a big alumni concert in the music society that night where we were joined by ex members from far and wide to make music with us. This was followed by a big social in the bar with old bands reuniting to continue the music revelries and nostalgia before the party moved to a friends house. At about half past four, I walked home collapsing in a fully satisfied heap on my bed and setting my alarm for four hours and thirteen minutes to help lead children’s groups at church in the morning.
For a day running on just less that four hours sleep, Sunday was near perfect. After hiding seventy two little bunnies around a church hall for an Easter hunt at church, I met up with a friend for coffee and got to meet and chat to someone from another CU. My friend suggested we took a picnic to the park and I couldn’t think of anything better despite being a little tired. We went back via mine to charge phones and contact friends and having also been at the party the night before, my friend and I both collapsed exhausted once again in my room, singing along to music. We then went up to the park with a few friends, a picnic entirely of different varieties of cake and some speakers. We sat on the hill, listening to music, eating cake and watching the sun set over the city. That moment was so beautiful, at the end of term without a single care or worry in the world and just then, I wished that it could last forever. I then went on to church and heard an inspiring sermon about how in Christ, we really do have nothing to worry about, before rejoining my friends in a quaint little local pub. There was chilled live music downstairs and board games upstairs and a couple of my friends from the barber shop started singing some songs round the table. One man with a guitar came over and started accompanying them and we all joined in including who I can only assume was this man’s wife, it was wonderful. Once again, tired, but fully satisfied.
On Monday we had a chilled but still relatively productive day in the library after another beautifully sunny walk to campus. We then reconvened for a film night in the evening. My friend and I both said we were not going to be staying very late that night but we didn’t get round to picking the film until half past ten/eleven o’clock and after the film my friend revealed that he had brought jungle speed. Before we knew it, it was five in the morning and were still fighting for the totem. Between us, we were covered in bruises and cuts and I was suddenly very aware that I had a full day of CU planning the following day but I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. We walked home and as much as I knew I needed sleep, I also knew I wanted to spend as much time with these people as I could, one of whom I had only met on Saturday and yet I already felt like I had known her forever.
I don’t know what would be your perfect week but for me, this came close. Nothing spectacular as I said, but after a term of what just seemed to be one thing after another, it was such a blessing to be able to just sit back and relax and have day after day of simple, unadulterated fun. One night I laughed so hard, I still had belly ache two days later, npw that’s the life.
In faith, hindsight is a wonderful thing. This isn’t a new idea, I think Pilate probably thought the same thing when he realised just who he had crucified all those years ago. Yet Jesus still thought he was worth dying for. In hindsight, I can count the blessings I receive every day and know it is nothing to do with anything I’ve done but simply a free gift I have been given. I’m free to live every moment, as simple as it may be, fully and abundantly. I’m free to know that I don’t have to worry about a thing because someone somewhere has already taken all those worries on for Himself. Because I was made to enjoy creation and each one of my days is already planned to be the best it can be. Because someone somewhere cares about me more than I can ever imagine. Because someone somewhere thinks I’m to die for and for that, I will be eternally grateful 🙂