A New Charging Port!
One of the things which makes us pretty anxious in the modern age is when our phone starts to play up. For many of us it’s like a mobile office. Emails, messages, maps, internet browsing, phone numbers and contacts all available at the touch of a button. Not to mention the camera and video and being able to capture those moments that are significant for us, whether on holiday or at a special event with friends and family.
In recent weeks, I had been noticing difficulty with charging my phone. It didn’t seem to have a very good contact and, while it appeared to be charging, any slight movement to the cable seemed to knock it off. You would leave it there for a couple of hours and return to find it still empty of battery. It began to reach a point where I had to build a rather elaborate nest of books and manoeuvre the charging cable at obscure angles to get it to charge at all. Last weekend, I went to my friendly local phone shop, ‘Device Doctors’ and the proprietor took a look with his special glasses. He could see some debris in the charging port and signs of corrosion, and his diagnosis was that I needed a new charging port.
He told me to leave the phone with him while I went off to do some messages and he would fit the phone with a new charging port. When I got back, the transformation was incredible. He stuck a charger in and, immediately, it registered that it was charging. I took it home and plugged it in and it was like the phone was getting a whole new lease of life.
It struck me that there might be some parallels with the search for meaning that goes on in every human heart. So often we try all sorts of things to give meaning and purpose to our lives. It might be the acquisition of money or possessions, it might be further education or qualifications. It might be alcohol or some other drug or stimulant that will give us confidence, and a surge of energy and positivity that we have never achieved before. It could be a whole series of fleeting or transient relationships where the thrill is in the chase, but our heart is guarded against allowing anyone in to reach the deeper part of ourselves. Sometimes, our career drives us on and we get great satisfaction from moving up that ladder and securing more responsibility and a higher status within our field.
The higher up we go, the more pressure we feel, however, as others seem to strive for the position we hold, and they are putting in the hours and waiting for any slip up or sign of weakness, so that they can move in on our position.
Whatever it is that drives us, or gives us a sense of purpose, can become a burden in itself. Sometimes, we feel like my faulty charging port, that it’s a very tenuous link that is keeping it all going and it doesn’t take much to knock it off. We take criticisms very personally, we feel every failure or mistake is a reflection on our incompetence, and our energy levels and motivation can feel hard to sustain.
Maybe we need something new to harness our energy. The Bible tells us that you and I were created for relationship with God and, whenever we ignore that and attempt to live life in our own way, we tend to become unstuck. It’s like we have that faulty charging port where nothing we do gives us lasting satisfaction. Singers and writers and artists have explored these themes throughout history. It has often driven some of the greatest and most creative of minds to despair and frustration as all their achievements and successes leave them feeling underwhelmed and a bit empty inside.
What if we were to tether ourselves to Jesus in this season in which we celebrate His birth? Carols and cards might evoke nostalgia as we think on Christmas, but could there be more to it?
I love the solution Jesus offers in the Message translation of the Bible written by Eugene Peterson.
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
Sounds to me a bit like finding a new charging port for our souls.
Wishing everyone a very happy Christmas and every blessing for 2024. The blog will be taking a break for a couple of weeks but, if you’d fancy joining others in pursuing this way of life, why not join us for special services on Christmas Eve at 9am, 11am and 11pm, or Christmas Day at 9am and 10.15am or New Year’s Eve at 9am and 11am. We’d love to welcome you.
Much love to everyone,
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