a writing by James Stephen Thompson

The Good Life

Psalm 1:1-6 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

I sat upon a three-seater wooden bench upon the patio of my home. It was within the rear garden where all was total silence, and no signs of any disturbance. I could not even notice a bird singing from within either a shrub or tree from within the development of a small wood. The Wood Pigeon, in ways on occasions a nuisance perhaps, yet there was no sign or sound of any of them. The sounds of such sharp squeaks and creeks meanwhile that responded with every move that I made, related to the moans and groans from within the Houses of Parliament, as yet a further build in ways of an argument would have made progress between the sides.

It had only been the previous autumn actually when, I had treated each and every bench within the boundary of my garden, with at least two coats of Linseed oil. The appearance back at the time was certainly showing, as if playing the part at the church service and holy oil during the period of the laying on of hands.

‘God Gives the Grace. With both the laying on of hands and anointing with oil, the elders come before God, in special circumstances, with a spirit of prayer and particular requests, but whereas anointing with oil asks for healing, the laying on of hands asks for blessing on forthcoming ministry.’

The garden meanwhile, was now beginning to show need of a further watering as the scorching sunshine from within such a clear pale cobalt blue sky, beamed down upon every form of life. It was however, not the time of day for the task of spraying with water almost all if not every bed of plant life, never-mind the trees, shrubs and lawn.

Such an activity being, much more sensible and straight at the end of the day, when the sun, so it appears is reaching set and therefore sleep. Much the same as neighbours I might add as it had been on previous occasions whilst spraying both the trees and shrubs with cold water delivered through use of a hosepipe, there had been the occasions when all of a sudden from the other side of a six foot fence, there would have come a response of shock and dissatisfaction. Naturally, my neighbours intention in a particular way, of making as much use from the summer sun, as I would have been myself.

My next door neighbours had moved in several years previously, and today, we were getting to know each other. The male member seemed to have similar interests as to those of myself, and also seemed to crave the thrill of spending some of his time, roaming round my most highly developed countryside in style, rear garden. Perhaps certain times of the year, during the particular month or months, I could find him to be of a more deeper use!

Things however were certainly not working out as to how situations would have been, back during my working days within the pale cobalt blue of the NHS. It would have been during that period of time within the blue, when almost all mental and physical decisions and activities would have been left in my hands. All the rest of the staff or certainly most other members, so it appeared by scenes and sound, would have spent their time enjoying an argument that showed no goal, and so therefore, would not cease.

It would have been meanwhile my neighbours, through being on a similar wave-length, we seemed to understand and accept most if not all conversations brought up. Through their names being Tom and Barbara, and Tom having a fruit and vegetable allotment only down the road, need I say I see all activities today as; ‘The Good Life.’

I have never met a single person who wants to live a bad life. That’s because everyone naturally, wants to live the good life. We all long to be blessed. The problem is, people in our world have very different perceptions of what exactly the good life is. Is the good life the wealthy life? Is the good life the famous life? Is the good life the quiet and peaceful life?

What is the good life? How would you answer that question? Think carefully. How you respond will have massive implications on the entirety of your life. Because whatever you think the answer is, that is what you will live for.

No matter what your response, one thing is certain: God created life, so he should be the one to tell us what the good life is. He does this for us in Psalm 1, where we see that every life fits into one of two categories: the righteous life or the wicked life.
And God makes it absolutely clear that the good life, the blessed life, is the righteous life in Christ.

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