Well here I am back on a long haul flight..
I can remember a time when I longed to travel overseas. Now there is part of me that would be happy to never see another airplane.
That said, the airplane gives me the chance to meet very special people and get a perspective on my country that you just can’t get from Australia.
I must confess though that I felt very Australian on Sunday watching the Wallabies hold on for a miraculous win over the Springboks. I had Bren stirring the guys all week about the game, but I honestly thought we didn’t stand a chance.. I feel a bit guilty that we won. South Africans take rugby so seriously, the whole nation was devastated. It was interesting to watch an Aussie sporting event being the only Aussie in the room.
While I have been in South Africa, I have really appreciated the IPad that Fusion bought for me this year. I was able to get a sim card which meant I could stay in touch with family and get my email. I am also discovering ebooks and ezines.
I love bookstores and I would probably read between 10 and 30 books a year. I think getting different perspectives on life helps keep me sane. Dicovering that ebooks can be downloaded instantly and are quite readable on the iPad has been a real bonus. They are also quite a bit cheaper and are automatically available on my phone too.
There has been one book that I have been wanting to read for probably about 10 years. It is “Life Together” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I was challenged by his book “The cost of discipleship” and since then I knew I wanted to read his refections on Christian community. Once I figured out how to download it I did, and I am still coming to terms with what I’m reading.
I think after the time in South Africa I am ready to be challenged, which is good because so far the book has been extremely confronting. Bonhoeffer puts his finger on many of the causes of angst in communities I have been, and am part of.
It’s not though like I can sit back and say “ah now I know their problems”. Bonhoeffer confronts me personally about my attitudes towards community, towards people in general, and particularly towards Jesus. I feel like someone has sat me down and spoken some home truths that I will be spending the next months trying to come to terms with. It’s not a bad thing. It feels hopeful and life giving, but also deeply confronting.
I have highlighted so many bits of the book that have spoken to me that it would seem a bit simplistic to try to capture it in this post. I imagine though you will be hearing a lot from Dietrich if you keep reading this blog over the coming months..
It feels like so much of what he writes I am only glimpsing the implications of, and I will want to be wrestling with it for a while.
If you have any aspirations about Christian community, I couldn’t reccomend this book more highly.