Sunday, 27 May 2012

Sunshine and integrity

Summer has come and I’m loving it (my arms are red and sore to prove it)! London is like a different place with people crowding the parks, bright coloured, flowery dresses, sunglasses, sweaty armpits and big smiles.
Yesterday I went out to the park for an hour to lie in the grass and ponder on the word integrity. Integrity is one of the coolest words I know! It easily gets forgotten and overshadowed by words like charisma, talent and passion but they wouldn’t be worth much without integrity at the foundation. Looking it up in the dictionary, (ok I googled it), I found that the word means wholeness, steadfast, being honest and undivided. A person of integrity can be trusted because what you see is what you get. They are the same person at home as on stage, on a good day as on a bad day. Their thoughts, words and actions line up. You know where they stand and won’t get any nasty surprises. A person of integrity can fail and mess up but keep people’s respect because they are honest about it and quick to own up.
Passion, talent, charisma, big dreams, exciting words, great plans and goals are all good but without integrity they fall through. Character on the other hand, cannot be taken away from you and is what will keep you on track.
Skimming through the awesome book of Proverbs, integrity, honesty and character kept popping up, like in these cool verses:
“God can’t stand deceivers but oh how he relishes integrity.” Prov 11:20
“Love and truth form a good leader; sound leadership is founded on loving integrity.”  Prov 20:28
Love and truth are the essence of God. I went back feeling challenged to build integrity into my everyday life, not trying to be what I’m not but being real to the core, full of love and truth.
Later that day, we took the children to an outdoor pool and spent the afternoon splashing around and enjoying the sunshine. You just have to love summer!
Today has been another glorious day! I started by going out for a short jog. It wasn’t far but I’m proud of myself for actually getting out there despite all my lame excuses. Then I was off to Borough market to pick up a great baguette, piece of cheese and latte and enjoy it with a good friend. Markets are simply great - the smell of food, the bustle of people and all the free tasters! I can’t help but thinking that just maybe the meaning of life is this simple. Maybe we are here on Earth simply to live in relationship with God, love and do life with the people around us and simply enjoy living. It works for me!
We had some awesome conversations, sharing the things we are learning in life right now. I know that life isn’t always sunshine, good friends and food and that it can feel impossible to enjoy at times but somehow God works through that as well and brings us through wiser and closer to Him if we let Him. He is enough for us and the one thing in life that we can count on.
A big group of us spent the afternoon in Hyde Park, having a picnic, soaking up the sun and playing football. Great fun but the football got just a bit too violent and I took the game a little too seriously…
Anyway, tomorrow is church day and the best day of the week. If you’re around in London then you should come to one of Hillsong’s sevices. Even if you don’t believe in anything spoken from the stage, all the lovely people you can connect with make it well worth your time. I’m getting ready tonight by drinking loads of water and nursing my sun burns. When will I learn to use sun cream?

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