Monday, 11 October 2010
"Don't be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit".
Paul to the Ephesians.
A few weeks ago, I found myself calmly and yet eagerly encountering the diversity of a new culture whilst on holiday in Portugal. It's wonderful to have opportunities like that - to truly 'soak up' something of the richness of a place and a people - it truly can help to make you healthy in the sense of discovering more (and thereby affirming the 'rightness') of natural human life. There were plenty of moments - feeling a mild breeze in a glade of village willow trees or the freshness of a day whilst upon a golden beach - when that sense of good indulgence, of vital and healthy interaction struck me, and that has continued to be the case since my return home. Walking into work, for example, this morning amidst some gloriously late mild autumn weather and delighting in the blue skies and the rich layers of colour and texture in the season's splendor once more made me aware of just how good many aspects of our world can be. So often, of course, it's not the natural world that is at fault - it is our abuse of it, or our neglect to 'read' what it is saying to us. We do this on so many levels, particularly with regards to our own bodies, but if we use such gifts well, then life can become a store house of good things.
There is, no doubt, an element of this in what Paul is writing to the Ephesians. Drunkenness is a total folly, because it dis-connects us from the warmth and true value of good wine - we appreciate the deeper value of the world far better when we can employ the good gifts we have been given to properly unwrap and enjoy (and thereby genuinely edify) ourselves and others.
When that inter-action truly begins to arise, then you naturally begin to see the true value, the deep marvel of life, and as you grant it that worth, you cannot help but be thankful to the Lord who gives so many riches.