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Home Sermons Essential Reading for Grey Nomads #1 - On Creation

Essential Reading for Grey Nomads #1 - On Creation

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On Creation

David Calderwood

I love holidays. And I’m sure that most of you will identify with the longing to get away from it all.

Day-dreaming about the next holiday is built on the promise that some exotic destination will both get you away from the ordinary pressures of work and life, and also give you new and exciting experiences, and a new lease on life.

It’s a tantalising promise, but in reality it creates disappointment because although I might be in some new and absolutely beautiful place, I can never get away from it all. In fact, as the old saying goes: The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Recently I had my long-dreamed for trip to the Red Centre. It was a great trip But so many of the pressures of life went with me, and, under the Lord’s hand, surfaced when I least expected them. I want to share three of those with you.

The trip put us into direct contact with that increasingly common species - first identified only in the last 30 years or so – The grey nomad.

They are prolific, eager to talk about their travels, keen to welcome into the grey nomad herd any who meet the criteria with respect to size of four-wheel-drive, caravan, and how long they are travelling for.

The friendliness was seductive, but so dangerous.

First, there is pressure to admire the creation while ignoring the creator.

Grey nomads really know and appreciate the size, diversity and beauty of Australia.

At campsites it is impossible to avoid hearing of wonderful places to be and exciting things to do. There is always someone who has been there and done that, most likely on more than one occasion.

It is so seductive, but so wrong because it hides an important truth – they are worshipping the creation and deliberately suppressing the truth that the beauty, complexity and sheer size of our land should make us acknowledge the creator who put it all in place.

And I realised I could not get away from it all by going on holidays. Loyalty to the Lord meant disloyalty to the world-view of the herd.

Second, there is emptiness hidden behind a veneer of significance.

Many grey nomads have been travelling for so long – some have been around Australia several times over many years – that their motivation for travelling is no longer to see Australia, but rather to be able to say they are travelling.

Being on the road is apparently the mark of success and affluence and having made it to retirement age.

It matters not that they have no particular destination or goal to achieve, or that they have no real community to be part of, or that they are almost totally self-absorbed.

And I realised that I could not get away from it all by going on holidays.

I was unsettled by my glimpse into the emptiness of a self-absorbed, no responsibility, and generally purposeless lifestyle. There has to be a more satisfying use of the so-called golden years of life.

Third, they are all following someone else’s script.

Every grey nomad encountered was convinced that they were finally free from the shackles of society; free to be individuals and to write their own script for life.

But they could not see that they were all following an identical script: a script they had been unwittingly following for a lifetime. What they think is freedom is really only compliance with the script written by society.

This was the saddest insight of all: they were simply ticking the last in a series of boxes that chart the good life as sinful people perceive it.

They had ticked the box of marriage, kids, a big house, lots of possessions, wealth, retirement. Now they were simply ticking the next box down the list - the big trip around Australia.

But then what? There are no more boxes to be ticked. So you just travel Australia one more time before you are too old to travel or you die.

And I realised that I could not get away from it all by going on holidays.

I could not comfortably take up that script with the majority, knowing Christ’s script for my life sources true freedom in a life lived for him.

So, the conclusion of the matter is this.

Yes, I love my holidays, and hope that I have opportunity to see more of this beautiful country of ours.

But rather than trying to get away from it all, I will be thankful that I can take all that is important with me, knowing that the call of the wild; the call of the herd, will never be a satisfying option for one already called by the Lord to a life of real meaning and purpose.

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Interested in reading more? read "Two ways to live."



Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 September 2011 20:42  

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