Sunday, 15 June 2008

Not your life

J.K. Rowling recently gave the Commencement Address at the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association. You can read/watch/listen to it here if you are interested!

I'm forever grateful to J.K. (as I like to call her ;)) because I just love the Harry Potter books! If, like me, you too are a Harry Potter geek, you might like to read this short prequel to the Harry Potter books that J.K. wrote as part of the Waterstones 'What's your story' charity fund-raiser. Just click 'Read our author's stories' and then 'JK Rowling'. Let me know what you think!

Anyway, that was a little aside! The reason I mentioned this Commencement Address was so that I could share the following quote:
Given a time machine or a Time Turner, I would tell my 21-year-old self that personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a check-list of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two.

This, as well as other things - conversations I've had, things I've read and talks I have listened to - recently, have got me thinking.

In a talk I was listening to recently, the speaker used the following picture. Imagine having a pile of everything that is important to you on earth – all your possessions, your friends, family, career, successes, education etc. Imagine that pile, and then next to that imagine Jesus. We should be prepared to give all of that up for Jesus, because he is worthy, and in him there is real joy, real life. J.K. was right - all of those things are not your life. We think that they will give joy, happiness and life... but they won't! Real happiness, real joy, is found solely in following closely behind Jesus, taking up our cross for him. The things of the earth that promise real life (which are often very good things!), are nothing when compared to knowing Jesus and folling him.

Its just so exciting – I want that to be my life! The bit in Matthew 13:45–46 is so challenging but so right! “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” I so want to 'sell all I have', in joy(!!) for the sake of Jesus. I want to remember and remind myself that "life is not a check-list of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life". The cost, in earthly terms, may be massive. But what I gain will make it absolutely worthwhile.

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