It’s life but not as we know it

It's life but not as we know it

Life in Christchurch changed when the first earthquake hit on September 4th 2010. We entered a new phase of life, not one that we were used to. Countless people were affected by these earthquakes and many lives are still gripped with a variety of emotions that have changed their lives. I meet people who tell me that life for them has changed for ever.

For many of these people whose lives have changed, they are still trying to make sense of this new life they now face. People are still seeking for answers to make sense of their changed world, but have failed to get the answers they long to hear, answers that provides hope and comfort for the their future. Older adults wonder if they will ever see the bright future being promised.

The church has been very successful in putting on a friendly face and have served the broken communities in Christchurch with the best of their abilities. But is the church helping people make sense of life in Christchurch? I am not seeing people turning to the church for answers. In fact people seem to be moving away from the church for answers. For those who profess no belief in God, what has happened only reinforces their view that God does not exist or is not interested in helping humanity. For those who profess a faith in God, it raises more questions about their faith that has led to changes in their theology about God, and that is causing them to drift away from the church.

Various groups have tried to give spiritual meaning to the earthquakes. Religious people have made sense of this new life by saying its God’s judgment and we need to repent. Atheists see life as both random and meaningless and we just have to get over it and accept the new life. Spiritual people are wondering if God is an external being or a ‘force’ within us orchestrating life in the world we live in.

Christians hold on to the fact that God is supreme and that all things will work together for good for those who trust God. That’s the view I hold. For me, as I face a life that has changed, my theology has changed. I have more questions than answers to life in a broken world. But instead of weakening my faith, it has strengthened it. Even though I don’t have the answers, God is still an anchor that I need to help me make sense of life. Psalm 73: 25-26 says “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” I can never understand God and His ways but I will still trust Him to know what is best for me. Maybe its too simplistic but the alternatives don’t appeal to me.

One Comment on “It’s life but not as we know it

  1. Dear Chris, I can only imagine the terror that an earthquake of such proportions can cause, but for me it must be similar to the pattern bombing I experienced as a child in World War 2. Looking back on my life, most of it appears to be made up of dysfunctional change brought about by one trauma after another… I was born in the year of the Great Depression when Wall Street crashed, ….my grandfather lost his entire fortune and committed suicide, my father became redundant and we were homeless… my father never really recovered and we used to make midnight flits from one place to another to avoid creditors… it was not until 1939 that we had a permanent home but of course it was overshadowed by the war… my father also committed suicide after leaving my mother and I married a restless man in the 50’s…we immigrated to NZ in 1960. Being an immigrant is not easy and I found it extremely distressing… in fact we never seemed to settle in one place for long, moving from one house to another so nowhere felt like home.. after a divorce in the 70’s I was finally able to make a new life for myself… with the grace of God I could make my own decisions, choose my own lifestyle and create my own little world using my own talents. You see my previous life was an apprenticeship to teach me how to survive constant change, how to see the flip side of situations, and how to encourage others…I learned not to put too much score on people, places or things… I know that the power of God is always with me and if Jesus could do it, so can I…. and through me so can everyone else…
    I dont know what your theology was before but mine has always been more like quantum physics!!! there are a lot of Romanesque and Greek myths inherited by the “church” that are nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus..
    misunderstandings proliferate and interpretations abound… what was acceptable in the Victorian era is no longer valid in the 21C…. and it is this that many people turn away from. I get annoyed when people say “how can God allow this to happen”. God allows lots of things to happen because it is built into the system… we are finite creatures living on a planet that is constantly changing… and it is not just our own survival in the face of constant change but the survival of everything else that demonstrates the love of God.

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