What should I write about – an election in our own nation, or an earthquake in Nepal? I’m conscious that this time next week, we will have voted and news will be full of the winners and the losers. It is a significant time in the life of our nation, with potential for far reaching consequences in the lives of individuals, families and communities. Yet at the same time, I can’t ignore a crisis of the magnitude of Nepal’s earthquake, even though it doesn’t touch my life in quite the same way.
My dilemma represents one which plays itself out in many different ways throughout life. The local or the national? The national or the international? My family’s priorities or those of others? The dilemma is behind decisions about how we vote – are we most concerned about potential effects on our own nearest and dearest or are we thinking also of wider community and vulnerable individuals? It is behind our response to international events – are we prepared to say no to something for ourselves in order to say yes to a charity appeal? It is behind numerous ordinary and everyday decisions about priorities with our time, our money, our attention.
Such decisions are not straightforward, and we each need, with God’s guidance, to come to our own conclusions. However, what is clear from Jesus’ example and teaching is that if we are serious about following his direction, we can no longer rest easy about these decisions and be satisfied with the most comfortable choice.
The Revd Cate Williams, Mission and Evangelism Officer