On a rare visit to T K Max (!) I was greeted with the sign. I guess that sums up life for many of us, for self centredness has never had it so good. That's just so much to do for yourself, from spa days, to chocolates, to another pair of shoes, to a new car. But what a small world it turns out to be.
Last Sunday I was speaking in my home church from 2 Timothy 4.6-8. As St Paul contemplates his likely execution, he passes on strong words to his young son in the faith, Timothy. Paul reviews his life in which he uses athletic metaphors about having been involved in a great contest, finishing the race, and keeping the faith-as though he were holding tight onto the baton beforee passing it on. For Paul the Christian life was anything but cosy and parochial. It was to be centred upon Jesus Christ and his vast significance for our world.
I tried to explain that we were made for more than just the love of friends and family and the stuff we acquire. Indeed I played a clip of the beautiful song of a blackbird. Lovely though it is, it is simply a call of love for a mate, and a declaration to rival suitors that 'this is my territory'. Now that summary of life may be ok for a blackbird, but we were made for higher and grander things.
To follow Christ is to be involved in the noblest of all lives. It is to move the focus of one's life from merely self-absorption to a placing of God at the centre. We all have moments of transcendence when we feel instinctively that there is more to life than just physicality, perhaps when seeing a child born, or being present at the death of a loved one, or gazing out at the ocean. C. S Lewis (in his sermon, The weight of glory) refers to theses moments as 'longings'. It's a long quote, but well worth the effort,