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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Monthly Musing - April 2015 - One of us

Small daughter is going through a “what if?” phase, and whilst providing hypothetical answers to seeming endless scenarios, the lyrics to a song called “One of Us” by Joan Osborne popped into my mind.  It’s a song about how we would behave if we knew who God was and whether seeing Him would make a difference to our beliefs.  I particularly like the chorus:

                                        “What if God was one of us?  Just a slob like one of us?
  Just a stranger on a bus, trying to make his way home.”

It seems to me that this is quite a fitting “what if?” question for Easter time.  We believe that God sent Jesus to live amongst us but after his death it is our belief in Him that sustains us even though we can’t see Him.  But what if that isn’t the end of the story?  What if God decided to come to earth for himself and chose to live quietly amongst us?  What if God is the bus driver who took you to work this morning, or the harassed Mum rushing to get her children to school on time?  What if He is the waitress at the restaurant you were rude to because your meal didn’t arrive quickly enough?  Or perhaps the man selling the Big Issue in town?  He could be anybody at all whom you come into contact with during your daily life, and you would never know. 

The big question is whether you would treat that person any differently if you thought that they were actually God.  The answer to that should of course be no, because you should treat everybody with the respect with which you would treat God, but we all know that not many of us actually do that.  We’re rushing about from one moment to the next, filling our minds with information that we must not forget and our minutes with jobs that must be done.  We don’t always have time to think about every other person we might meet because we just have too much to do.

I didn’t give anything up for Lent; instead I tried to do something positive every day and whilst I had a few lapses, on the whole I didn’t do too badly and it was good for me to remember to do it and the reason why.  Now that Lent is almost over, it would be easy to let those good intentions slip – much as New Year’s resolutions fade – but because it didn’t involve giving up chocolate, I’m inclined to try to keep it up and perhaps even add a new intention: to try to treat others with the respect that I would offer to God if He was really standing in front of me.  It sounds easy enough as I’m a polite person, but I know that it goes beyond good manners and at times it won’t be easy at all.  But it’s worth a try.


10 comments:

  1. I think the problem is that life is such a rush these days that we dash through each day without giving much thought to people or the world around us. It's time to slow down, appreciate what we have and take time out for others. I think doing something positive every day for Lent is a good idea, it would be great for it to continue.

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    1. You're right, Jo, and the technology that makes our lives easier - our mobiles, email, social media - actually makes it worse as we spend every minute being in contact with somebody. Having said that, I wouldn't want to give mine up so I'll just have to be more determined to make time to appreciate what's going on around me! xx

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  2. I love this song; I take it to mean (for me) that God IS one of us; that we don't treat people differently according to status or intelligence or arrogance or talent. How I treat the poorest, silliest, weirdest people I know should be with the same degree of love and hope for friendship that I would use if God actually did come to drive my local bus. And I hope I manage that most of the time. It took time and hard lessons well learned to be so non-judgmental (which I was in my youth). Great song; thanks for the reminder.

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    1. Being non-judgemental is a hard lesson to learn; many is the time that I think I've cracked it and something will happen that makes me re-think xx

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  3. I think that your approach to lent is a wonderful one and applaud you for your actions - not that you did it for applause I realise. You are right that we should treat everyone well, it is sometimes harder when we are rushing or stressed or worried, but if we try and try and do better that is the most important thing I think. I hope that you have a blessed Easter with your family. xx

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    1. Thank you. I hope you have a wonderful Easter as well xx

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  4. Hello. You have written such a lovely post - one that makes us think a little to have compassion on others. As you said, it's appropriate not only during lent but everyday. I will try to remember that and think positive. I wish you a blessed Easter holiday.

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    1. And you too, Pat. Thank you for your lovely words xx

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  5. Thought provoking. I think we all tend to dash through our busy lives and sometimes we don't stop and consider others as we should. I think there is a lesson for us all in trying to do a positive thing each day. Your post has brought to mind my favourite poem "What is this life if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare". In times of stress I try and make time to read that verse.

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    1. Oh yes, I'd forgotten all about that poem! I've just been to look it up again and I'm so pleased that I did - thanks for reminding me xx

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