By admin


A couple of months ago I stumbled upon a little abandoned blue book. It had an ancient scuffed cover and a faded gold embossed title on its spine reading Oxford Songs of Praise. Being a lover of language I lapped up the beautiful old English and the richness of the hymns. Often, when I have a quiet moment, I flip it open and drink in the deep and meaningful words. A few weeks ago we spend a glorious long weekend at a friend’s beach house in Mozambique. One day as the sun was rising and I sat sipping my tea on the deck, I opened the little blue book to a section containing songs about the morning. The one which caught my eye and heart started like this: So here hath been dawning Another blue day. Think, wilt thou let it Slip useless away?” Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) My first thought was that I had absolutely nothing useful planned for the day. The agenda included a whole bunch of swinging in hammocks, some good books and a significant amount of beach time. Isn’t that what holidays are meant to be? But as I sat there taking in the vast expanse of the aqua ocean and holding my breath periodically at the massive splash of yet another whale, I remembered something I had heard years before. It apparently comes from a document called the Westminster Confession. It says this: “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” For the rest of our time in Mozambique, this quote was my mantra, and it has been swirling in my heart ever since. But after four, sweet phone-free days of simply “being” it took mere moments after our border crossing for messages and emails to begin pouring in, demanding that we start “doing”. Work emergencies to be dealt with, enquiries to be answered, tasks to be done. And so the wrestle in my head and my heart began. In a culture where I am encouraged to dream big, aim high, work hard, achieve much I felt I was somehow missing the plot. What did it all mean, really? These busy, complex lives of ours filled with grand pursuits. Are we missing out on what is really important by rushing around trying to fit everything in? And then I came upon a scripture in the book of James which read: “… And the rich shall fade away in the midst of their pursuits.” That’s us. The ones who read blogs and drink coffee, the ones with jobs and cars. The ones who can educate their kids and follow their dreams. We run the risk of losing the vibrancy of what really matters in our pursuit of the things of little consequence. So, I asked myself, what is it that really matters? And all I have is the Westminster confession: to glorify God and enjoy him forever. That has to be the starting place of all else. A writer way more articulate than me, named Gregory Boyle, put it like this: “We try and find a way then to hold our fingertips gently to the pulse of God. We watch as our hearts begin to beat as one with the One who delights in our being. Then what do we do? We exhale the same spirit of delight into the world and we hope for poetry.” Don’t get me wrong, I have dreams in my heart but I have realized that I don’t want to achieve anything very grand. I may publish a book one day. Or maybe not. I might take an award-winning photograph, but chances are not great. I might still get to work for the United Nations. Who knows. But the truth is that the things I really, truly want are far simpler and more profound. I want to be the kind of wife who still makes her husband’s heart skip a beat when we are both old and grey. I want to be a daughter who truly honours her parents all of their days. I want to be the kind of mom who leaves her kids a legacy of love, grace, compassion and integrity. I want to be the kind of friend whose words carry life. And most of all I want to be the kind of Christian whose days reflect the beauty of the One who dreamed me up. I want to enjoy Him forever. And that, I believe, is enough. (This post first appeared on Christy’s fantastic blog. You can check it out here.)