‘What about this man?’

I don’t know what will happen when I meet my Maker on the Day of Judgement. I know what I believe, but I don’t actually know. But somehow, I don’t think my Maker will be interested in hearing me ask a long string of questions about Mr.This, Mrs.That and Miss You-Know-Who.
I often read John 21, where Jesus told Peter,’When you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish’ and then said to Peter,’Follow me.’ Then Peter saw John and said to Jesus,’But Lord, what about this man?’ Jesus replied…’What is that to you? You follow me.’
We live in a beautiful world but it also a chaotic world, with tragedy, injustice and intrigues confronting us on a daily basis via the media and sometimes in our private lives. I could easily spend a large proportion of my time bemoaning the state of the world, finding out what other people think about it all and maybe supporting some campaigns. Up to a point, I think it’s good to be aware of what’s going on ‘in the world’ and to stand up and be counted with regard to some issues, but it’s not so good if I devote so much time to it that I leave little time for anything else.
So what about the ‘anything else’? High on my list is searching my own heart. I can’t change the world – well, not a lot… but through the power of the Holy Spirit at work in me I can change, and hopefully grow closer to being the person God created me to be.Yet searching my own heart could also become a full-time occupation. No matter how deeply I search, I don’t reach a stage where I can think I’ve ‘arrived’, that I am fully sanctified.
So I’ve needed to strike a balance. I remain concerned about the state of ‘the world’ but I spend more time praying about it and less time trying to make sense of it. Prayer and searching my own heart remains central in my life, but I spend more time finding creative ways of making the world a slightly better place for others and for myself.
I suppose I muddle through as best I can and I become increasingly aware that others are doing the same.
Like pebbles on a beach, we rub the rough edges off each other and become a bit smoother as time goes on.
When I meet my Maker, I might still be inclined to ask,’What about them?’ but a bit less inclined than I have been hitherto.


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