I have talked a lot about the impact of the tragic death of Phil Hughes on Australian society this week. A young country boy with a dream to represent his country…who knew about success, disappointments and hard work; but had a resilience of character and uncomplicated and humble approach to life that has resonated deeply with so many people all over the world. I
I was deeply touched to watch the telecast of the funeral and procession – that walked from my old school, along the road I walked to school each day and went right past my house – before finishing at the Pacific Highway. What started as funeral procession – became a throng of friends and mourners, walking Phil home for the last time. It was a journey of relationships.
If you don’t know Macksville – it is one of the last true bottle necks on the Highway – with its old bridge and traffic lights being the bane of many a traveller stuck in traffic in holiday time going north and south, especially around Christmas. But one of the last enduring images were the cars banked up on the bridge – stopped by Police – and I thought of the hundreds of people inconvenienced by what was going on. Their plans thwarted by the community closing down to celebrate one life. Why? Because a community values relationships above other things.
The highway, that was normally busy with cars rushing to their destination became a place for people to walk, to go slowly, to talk and reflect; to reconnect. As we edge closer to another Christmas… are also reminded that we stop to pause and reflect; to reconnect with the one life that changed eternity: Jesus the Messiah. His is the one life that gives us hope beyond this life – the one life whose sole purpose was to provide the platform for repentance and forgiveness of sins.
So often we get so self-focused – so concerned with what is important to us – that we forget what life is really about. John the Baptist purpose in life was to call people out – to challenge them about what was important – to point them to God. But he knew his place, he knew that ultimately Jesus was coming – and when he did come he said, “He must become greater and I must become less.” (John3:30) He knew that the only way to become the person that God has intended you to be was to give over control of the wheel to God…so that he could become greater and that you would become less. This can only come through relationship. Whose way are you going this Christmas? Is it going to be your way or God’s high way? It’s your choice.