I simply want everything I do to be an act of worship to God. ********************EVERYTHING******************** like a spider's web, intricately woven, the threads of our lives are entwined, making us who we are, where we are, at this time in history.... here's a small record of one family's journey to love God

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Following is a snippet (OK, so a fairly long snippet!!) of a piece I wrote over five years ago. What had started out as a response to the statement "Having experiences needs to be balanced with caring for the poor", turned into a treatise on travel, education, life purpose and the welfare state!!!!! I'll spare you the bulk of it

What is wrong with deciding you want to be inspired by people in the past and study their paintings ~ and so spend money going to art galleries on a Sunday afternoon?
What is wrong with wanting to learn about the origins of food (its life prior to arriving in a supermarket) ~ and so spending a year living with a farming/self-sufficient family?
What is wrong with taking a dead-end survival job (teaching English for no apparent purpose, for example – 24 hours a week) and thereby giving yourself, and your family, the opportunity to live in Mongolia or Madagascar?
What is wrong with understanding you connect with God when out of the city ~ and so take a hike through the bush on a Sunday morning?
Is there anything wrong (and this is not rhetorical) with doing something for a year and then doing something else? Should everyone have a longterm life mission that they relentlessly work towards?
Would it be wrong/bad/unwise to go and spend a year or just six months working in an orphanage simply *loving* children, if you didn’t intend to stay for the longterm? Is it better not to go at all?
Should we only spend what we absolutely *need* to survive and give all the rest away? We could look at “causes” to give to as a family, using the experience to teach the children. Could we decide to do that for a year, even if only to intentionally over a slightly prolonged period challenge our ideas of what is necessary and to make a conscious effort to consider the poor and our response to them (instead of just feeling a bit guilty every so often that we have so much and not actually doing a lot about that)???
Should we go and live in an apartment in New York or London and spend our days visiting science centres and museums and art galleries and old buildings and… “drink from a fire-hydrant of mind-blowing experiences” only available in the city? (quote John Anderson from unconventionalideas.com)
What about living with a nomadic tribe in a yurt for a year?

These things are all “education” in the broad sense of the word. Are they valid ways of learning? Or would flitting from one experience to another just produce shallow adults who cannot be faithfully committed to anything for any length of time, who have no roots and bail out when the going gets tough?
I tend to think not – not if we work hard together wherever we are, not if the children see parents committed to each other and them in spite of inevitable difficulties, not if their roots and identity are firmly planted in Christ, not if we all seek to serve whoever we come in contact with along the journey. No it needn’t be a selfish existence, even if it is very different to the “norm”.

Who said we have to be NORMAL?????????

Isn’t it a good idea to let children see different ways of doing things, different ways of living, different people who need God? Living in a time when travel is so fast and relatively cheap, is it not just living in the times to make use of such opportunities? Maybe the children will be inspired to set up a sustainable community when they get older, maybe they will make lots of money and have seen lots of projects/people to give it to, maybe they will design a system for purifying water that does not cost a lot to make or run, maybe they will adopt an orphan, maybe they will dream dreams and make visions a reality because of some of the experiences they have had as children.

Sure, you don’t *need* to travel to discover these experiences…you could simply turn on the computer and have the world at your fingertips. But reading internet articles, watching reality tv (not that there is much *real* about that!!!!), and dare I say it, even reading books is in part simply living vicariously.

What does it mean to really LIVE?


Jen and family said...

Interesting post Rach was this by any chance for an exception to homeschool
I think you could have easily used it for that
Id love to give it to one of my relations who believe that we have moved around far too much in my childrens life times.
Just because we have moved around and they being of the older generation have started in the same house for the last 30 odd years does not make as different or me a bad parent at least I dont think so
Jen at http://jenz.wordpress.com/

Rach said...

Good grief no Jen! I would never put something so un-mainstream in my exemption application! Or at least not without a bit of educationalese thrown in!!!!
And don't worry about defending your choices to others. The mere fact that you do things differently to someone else doesn't make either of you necessarily right or wrong, better or worse. I think what is important is that you live intentionally and know why you do what you do.