Protesters, latte’s and the meaning of life.

I was just walking through Sydney Uni. I’ve taken a day off to recover from some sort of fever or head cold or something. The sun on my face is healing and the buzz of a lunchtime university crowd is good for the soul.
Everyone is sprawled across the lawns, eating sandwiches and drinking coffee. Scattered around the place are stalls for different clubs – one for sports, another organising a protest out the front of Fisher library at 3pm – I walk past the Sydney Law Review table. Five people standing around talking quickly, arms flying around the air.

I’m always on the lookout for what it is that makes life worth living. Even as a Christian I’ve had my fair share of seasons that feel useless or meaningless or just plain dark. So in the back of my mind, making sense of the human condition is a constant hobby and on a personal note it is a daily search.

As I walked around the university that day it dawned on me with such clarity;
We crave to be part of something bigger,
And that something bigger must involve some sort of tangible action.
Something of worth, of value, something that is tangible.

Humans flourish when we work together to tend the garden. That’s a phrase I get from Genesis 1. It’s the biblical concept that God gave us our lives in order that we would do something with them, something tangible, together, for the good of the world.

I feel like there has been a slight disconnection for me on this front.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know this is not a new concept. I have been talking about the need for humans to be part of something bigger for donkey’s years. But what really struck me today as I looked at those organising the protest and the people recruiting for University Games and the Law students planning their review was that this ‘something bigger’ must be doing something tangible.

It must be doing something that has worth which can been seen and touched and enjoyed.
It is a challenge for my own life and my approach to daily tasks.

I think it is also a challenge to our Christian communities scattered around Sydney.

We are very good at reminding each other that we are part of something bigger! That is what the Gospel of Jesus is all about – that God should enter our world in order to lead us into his eternal, life affirming world.

However, I wonder if as communities we are doing something together of tangible worth?


One thought on “Protesters, latte’s and the meaning of life.

  1. I think that’s a great question.
    Are we encouraging people & then telling them to “flourish” in their own lives, or are we seeking to be a community where we flourish together?

    I’ve been thinking about an extrapolation of this. Our church is going through a tough process as we consider selling two of our outlying churches and building a big and exciting extension to our main church. We’ve been spending a lot of time talking about the cost if we don’t make the decision, but recently I’ve been pushing for the fact that if something big is going to happen, then we need to start talking about all the wonderful things that will happen with a new building that meets our needs.

    Particularly as we face talk of being a “declining church,” do we allow ourselves to be caught up in trying to slow decline, rather than believing that we’re investing in something that will flourish?

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