Clergy Letter – January 15

New Year….New You? “You are what you eat”

Dear Friends,

As I write this it is early December. By the time you read this it will be early January. I’m trying to picture how much I may have eaten in those few weeks….I shudder! Following the excesses of Christmas ( “excess” being a challenging word when we consider the need of so many!) the New Year is often a time for many to consider their lifestyle. It is by far the most popular time for people to join a gym!

If we want to be physically healthy, we need to have a balanced diet. In this day and age, we are reasonably well educated about what is good for us and what is bad for us. We know that we need to get the right amount of certain stuff – not too much and not too little. This sometimes piles the guilt on! I go through phases when I justify fast food, sweets and crisps by thinking I will go for a run later. However, I heard that it takes a nine mile run to burn off the calories from a Big Mac meal! That’s a bit depressing! I can’t live off having run a couple of marathons nearly nine years ago. I’ve got to watch my diet and exercise now, and I’m not consistent about that!

Just as we should watch our physical intake, our spiritual intake is even more important. The effects last longer! In the New Testament, Paul challenged his younger protégé, Timothy, with these words:

“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come……….Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy 4: 8,16

The average person now spends about 7 hours a day either watching television, surfing the internet or using our phones. That’s a lot of input. How much is good and healthy? How we feed our souls matters. What we believe is crucial. We won’t always get it right but we must have a desire to learn. I hope that I will always be teachable. I hope that I will always be willing to learn new things, even capable of changing my opinions and attitudes. Yet, I also long to be discerning. I hope to recognise when the things I hear are not in keeping with Biblical truth, when I’m being led down the wrong path. I know I get this wrong sometimes and I am grateful for God’s grace. I long to increasingly think and behave in line with God’s will for me in Christ. Together may we “feed” on the things of God, may we train ourselves to be Godly and may we know the joy and sense of true satisfaction only he can bring.

God Bless you all throughout 2015. Darren