Trees in a line

Was I A Good Lover?

Standing on the university lawns, after a centuries-old ceremony, still conducted in Latin, had officially made me a graduate, so, stretched out ahead of me, the world really was my (insert comedy seafood of choice!).

That was a handful of years ago (I have big hands!), and yet too often I find it sad to look back and remember things haven’t turned out at all how I imagined they probably would. Even if the world is getting along quite nicely without my being a Director of a Structural Engineering firm with the usual family and lifestyle to go with it, I still feel tempted to mourn the decade I lost to chronic, severe neurological disease. Then, the world wasn’t even a value range fish finger to me …

When I was growing up, we might have had teen angst and a wanting to find our place and fit in, but I don’t remember the near ubiquitous beat of society’s drum demanding that I find my “purpose” – or that it is most likely connected to my “popularity” – as it pretty much seems to be now. While I was ill, I was forced to learn the difficult but crucial lesson that our identity is in who we are, not in what we do. We are human beings, not “human doings”. And yet, now that I am mostly recovered and back living in something like the real world, I feel discontentment as I wonder what I “could”, or even “should” (?) be … doing. What would bring me fulfilment? What would make a positive impact on the world or a name for myself? What would pay? What would be fun? What would make me feel valued?

I’m studying Ecclesiastes at the moment, and so far the message is clear. Everything under the sun is meaningless. Vanity. Breath. Vapour. Vapid. And it’s true. In the final assessment, what will have mattered? There are things that feel important, or essential, or desirable, things I aspire to, some things that are good, some things that I’d just want to look good to other people. But what is it that really counts?

When Jesus was asked which is the greatest commandment, he replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength … And love your neighbour as (you love) yourself.” (Mark 12:30)

Whatever achievements I go on to claim in life – whether they are great or small, esteemed by many or seen by a few – I know already that the most important question I shall ask of myself is, “Did I love well?” My family, my friends, my God, my neighbour, my enemy. How have I loved them? And so, day by day, whatever I am doing, this is what I must recall: Did I love them well?

8 thoughts on “Was I A Good Lover?

  1. Wise & wonderful words Giles. I struggle to find inspiration when this ill. All this kind of thing helps. There are no “professionals” in the medical world to turn to. We all really only have each other for support. Thanks.x

  2. Hey Giles, just to say, you would never have been such a blessing to countless people if you hadn’t had ME. I am sure you would have been a blessing- but likely not to the ME community, and I for one, and I know there are many others too, am very glad for all the hard work and input you have made in many ways in this area. God is sovereign, and He allowed that 10 years for your good AND for the good of many others. It was far from wasted brother. May you be encouraged in spirit. After several years far away from God, a verse given to me by my mother was the promise from the book of Joel that the Lord would restore what the locusts had consumed. Although it felt like I had fritted away that time, God has used the experiences to equip me, and use me. Although I am limited by ME, I am leaning to let the Lord use me in whatever way He allows and enables me. I would love to speak to many people about Jesus in my town, but physically that is not possible. But He has given me the opportunity to choose and display posters clearly seen from the road past our church building. So I am encouraged that in a way, I am bringing the good news to the people of Hertford.

    Anyway, big shout out to you there in Felixstowe Giles- hope it was nice and sunny there today as it was here!:))

  3. Hi Giles, wow, loving the blog! There’s some seriously deep and wonderful God given thoughts here. What a gift God has given you. 🙂 You explain it all so clearly. I agree with all you’ve said and we have loads in common actually. You know the musical/film, God-spell? well the song that comes to mind is, ‘Day by Day’. Beautiful. 🙂

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