Monday, 1 December 2014

Forever

Day 1 of Advent.

Today is the start of Advent, when we look forward to the coming of Christ, the newborn baby who would one day grow up to change the world forever. But whenever there is a time of looking forward, I always seem to find myself thinking back, reflecting on what has gone before. The last few weeks I have spent a long time pondering about all the things that have led to me being here, doing this and being this person.

In particular, I keep thinking about one special little boy that I had to say goodbye to nearly five years ago when he was adopted into his forever family. My feelings about him are always so mixed. I will always look back on the time I got to spend with him with a smile, great fondness, love and affection. But when I see updates on him, pictures of him growing and making achievements and enjoying his new life, I can't seem to shake the dull ache in my stomach and the tears in my eye in the knowledge that he will forget about me long long before I ever will him. The truth is he changed my life much more than I did his.

I guess I must be a pessimist, but all relationships hold that element of knowing that one day, at least one of us will have to say goodbye to the other for good. Whether that be through divorce, death, moving away, illness, etc. There is no relationship on earth in which we know that 'forever' is part of the equation. Humans aren't made for forever. We each hold a few people close to our hearts for a while, but most of my friendships fade when circumstances and distances change. It used to upset me but now I just know it's part of life. People who walk into our lives always have the option to walk out again. But the time you got to spend with them doesn't lose it's significance. It changes who you are, where you go, how you see the world.

As we look forward to Christmas, and the coming of the newborn Son of God, who exists forever, reigns for ever, and loves forever, we must reassess our own interpretation of what our relationship with Jesus means for our lives. Is he someone we think of often? Rely on often? Talk to often? Today is the start of a brand new day. It's the only day we're guaranteed right now. Let's use it to treasure what needs to be treasured, let go of what needs to be let go, and focus on what should be focussed on at this time.

Strip back what needs to be stripped back, and remember that the reason for Christmas wasn't to spend thousands of pounds on presents, decorations, Christmas cards, food and drink. It's the start of a relationship. The start of those special memories. Those moments of tears, heartache, and pain. Of forgetting, and remembering, and knowing that spending time with someone, no matter how short, can change your life forever.
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