Robert's Ruminations

The thoughts of Revd. Robert, Minister for Emmanuel, Ilfracombe

Difference is a blessing!

As I write this piece, I am seated on the train travelling to a meeting at Church House in London. As usual, the train was late getting into the station, over-running engineering works at Plymouth, but we’re now on our way and the weather is fine, I have a seat which is always a bonus, and so I can settle down to enjoy the journey.

I don’t know about you, but I like to look around at the people on the train and try to guess their story – people watching is a fascinating pastime! There are the businessmen in their dapper suits tapping away on their laptops, juggling the mobile phone and the cup of coffee. There’s the returning student, college now over for the year and looking forward to the long summer holidays. I look on at the flustered young mum trying to keep two very young children happy on a long and boring journey. The old couple – visiting grandchildren perhaps, or starting off on new travels to exotic faraway places. The list goes on, because everyone on this train is different, we all have different reasons for being here, different destinations to reach and different times by which we need to be there. Difference is a blessing, because if we were all the same what a boring world we would live in!!

Some people think that if we were all the same then we would be able to have a world which was more stable and safe. Difference is at the heart of many of the disagreements that happen around the world – differences in colour of skin, religion, political persuasion, gender, prosperity. These differences can lead to a breakdown in our communities and our society in general. But if we were all the same, wouldn’t the world be a most boring place to live?

God created things to be different and we are all made differently, with different gifts, kills and talents that we can use for the good of the world and for our God. For some that means being able to create some wonderful art that brings beauty into the world; some people can make music that tugs at the emotions; some others are ‘doer’s, they are the ones who just go about helping those in need, often with little thought to their own safety. But each and every one of us is unique and different – God sees difference as a blessing!

And it’s the same when we come to look at the relationships we have with others, family, friends and strangers, and also that special relationship we have with our God. Each of us develops links with those around us that reflects our own experiences and understandings we glean over time. It’s those experiences that mould us into the kind of people we are. I believe that God wants us to relish our differences and be the ones who can set about sharing the good news of His love for all people. God has no-one else other than us, to live out the gospel today and to show just what it means to be able to live together as one people, one world.

Difference can breed division, but it can also engender a togetherness that comes from each individuals experience. It is this togetherness that will bring peace into the world. Difference is a blessing!

So as we travel through this earthly journey that we call life, let’s celebrate our differences and see just how blessed we and everyone else can be by sharing in a world that thrives on variety and grows on each persons appreciation of others. So, let’s go out there and be different for God and show to the world that He is the one worth following, just as we follow Him in our own lives.

Difference is a blessing!


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Thursday, 23 May 2019

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