I’ve had a couple of days to think about what to talk about in my address, and I’ve had it going around in my head all the time ‘what am I going to do?’.
Loads of random thoughts were coming up and then I more or less got it clear in my head what I was going to say just before I came here. Then listening to the Bible reading and listening to that last hymn, it all fits in! It’s amazing how that tends to work, every time people do an address, they quite often say that it all fits in without actually having contact with the church and asking what sort of reading or what sort of songs will be sung tonight? It just all seems to fit in.
I know I’m meant to be inspiring you and hopefully this will give you some thoughts about who you are. The reading today was talking about doing Jesus’ work, how to go out and give to others and how not to feel bad about how we serve others. The song just now ‘What a Wonderful World’ was like we’re doing this stuff in this really wonderful world. It’s almost as if that’s our pay for doing wonderful things is that we get to live in a wonderful world.
Now that’s fine if we’re ok.
I want to talk to you about whether you are ok and if not, what are you going to do about it? Before we can go out and do what’s asked of us by any scriptures or by any mentor or whoever we want to look up to and listen to, we need to know that we’re ok. We need to know that we are able to do what we want to do. Doing what we want to do is normally wanting to do what’s right and what is good and therefore feel worthy. And once you have a worthy human being, a worthy adult, you’ve got a content human being, a content adult. Once things are good in their world, they become good in everyone else’s world and life overall becomes much better.
I was talking to a friend today about the Every Child Matters and every child does matter. We know and understand that and as adults we have to ensure that they know that. But what about every adult? What about every one of you sitting there today, you all matter. If you’re thinking ‘no I don’t matter’ then how can you realistically, joyfully and in good spirits go out and help others which in turn makes you feel even better? I feel we need a system in the country where we could make every person feel worthy.
We look at areas of our lives and think have I got time for that? So, let’s look at – first of all, how safe are you? How safe is our home? Do we feel ok in our own environment? What can you do to put that right?
Then you start looking at things like whether your house is ok and what’s the neighbourhood like? There is the neighbourhood watch out there, which I can join, and I then add to that, adding to the security of my home and community. With that, you can start working with the agencies who are there to protect us all such as the police. Without looking up, we are now safe.
Now, am I healthy enough, do I keep myself fit and healthy? Am I well enough to do what’s expected of me or what I expect of myself?
Do you eat well enough? Are you knowledgeable enough on how to keep healthy? Can you check that out? Nowadays people talk about ‘technology, we never had that in my young day, it’s a curse’. I don’t think it is, I think it’s coming along to help us all become a lot more knowledgeable and educate us in things such as our health. We can look up most things and we can use trusted sites to get information, help and guidance. We can see how to eat properly, how to exercise properly and what not to do such as smoking and having too much alcohol and the dangers of drugs. We all know that, but are we doing this? Are we doing it for ourselves as we preach to others not to?
Then we’ve got economic wellbeing. How well am I making my money work for me so that I feel ok, so that I’m not eating into dept? I can save for the future; I can look at what’s happening in times to come so that I can look after myself. We live in an economic society so whether we like it or not, our responsibility as individuals, as adults, is to look at our economic wellbeing. We ask it of our children, if you want pocket money you have got to do x, y and z. We know we need to go to work and earn the money we need, but we need to make it work for us. We need to plan it; we need to be able to look after ourselves within the realms of our expenditure. Are we doing that right? Or are we gambling? Gambling is the quiet killer in this country that not a lot of us talk about. People talk more about addiction to drugs, addiction to alcohol, all sorts of addition, but gambling is the quiet one, but it is horrendously destructive. Are we doing enough to stay away from that? Are we doing enough to help others to stay away from it? Are we doing enough to advise and guide others to not go down that route? Are we doing enough to look after the money that we’ve worked hard for and are we showing enough respect for things that are paid for by the public purse? Do we show enough respect to our parks, to our libraries? It’s all a part of our economic wellbeing when you’re looking at the wider picture.
Let me look at emotional wellbeing, that can possibly be one of the hardest ones. How easy it is to say, ‘I feel stressed, I suffer from anxiety, my head is not in the right place, I can’t cope anymore, this is too much’? Would it take an awful lot to turn that around I wonder? Could we think more about sitting quietly, learning a little bit of meditation, thinking about what is really making us anxious, what is really making us depressed, what is really getting us down and why? If we start looking at how to prioritise things and what we have got in this country and how this is one of the wealthiest parts. That’s how well off we are in this part of the world. We think if we’re living where everything is so hunky-dory, why do I feel so bad? It’s only down to us. At the end of the day, although we were talking about Every Child Matters so we look out for their mental health and their emotional wellbeing we are the only ones who can do it for us. We must do it for us. Without it we have no stability, we have no chance of reaching our potential. It disables us. Sometimes it’s as easy as just looking at how to meditate, how to prioritise and how to look at how well off we are and sometimes just turn it all around.
Sometimes it can be a physical health problem as I know from when I used to be feeling teary all the time, and test after test it came back that my body doesn’t hold onto B12 very good and that what you need is a shot of to lift your spirits. So do get everything checked physically as well as mentally when you’re feeling low. At the end of the day it’s down to us. I wonder how many people we know that are always down because they actually want to be there as they think it’s an easier way to live. It’s an excuse not to get out and reach their potential and do for others, it’s just their excuse. To become a victim can be an easy thing to become if you want to.
Being a valuable member of society is one of the outcomes of Every Child Matters and so is it for us. It’s probably what we crave more than anything. If we felt valued, if we felt ok about who we are all the time wouldn’t this be a better world? Not only in your house, in your community, but in the wider community. If we all learnt how to make ourselves feel ok, we can go out and help others. There are many ways that it can be done in our own community, if you’re new to the community and something is going wrong in your life, there are organisations that are well equipped to help you. There are places to go for advice and guidance and if you go there and you then feel better, you may think that you want to do something to help others and to feel valuable. And you can. Even if that value is doing the best for your family. Once you feel ok about yourself, look at your family and the community to see how you can help them. The way Jesus taught us to live wasn’t all about helping others, helping others helps us. It helps us to feel worthy. To feel a worthy human being is what makes us whole. It makes us feel good. I think many of us now will be thinking about times where you’ve felt good about doing something and thinking yeah, that’s right. Even if you run a football team for 5-year olds, a scout troop, if you help out with things like the neighbourhood watch. If you go to the library to see where you could help, such as helping disabled people to go shopping. You could help someone that may be feeling lonely by befriending them. You might be able to help someone who can’t get out to walk their dog when you can. It can be something small but that adds value to you and to your community and we all benefit, but most of all you benefit yourself. Only you can do it and only you can look out for it.
This is a transcript of a Spiritual Address given by Sonia Walton during our Divine Service on 6th October 2019, at Thundersley Christian Spiritualist Church.