Resilience & Regeneration
Green eucalyptus shoots emerging from blackened tree trunks, herald signs of life returning. Red skies have been replaced by blue. Much has been lost, but the miracle of regeneration delights the soul. While times are very tough indeed for those in bushfire, drought and flood affected communities, there remains hope for a fresh start. Lessons will be learned and the regeneration process will contain new wisdom to surpass old models.
Hope is a key tenet of Christianity and an important one for us all. Faith in something beyond ourselves is an important factor leading to resilience and regeneration. Hope sustains us through all manner of trials. Sometimes misplaced, I suspect some hope is better than none at all. Without hope, life resembles a dark tunnel, where we wait and watch for a glimmer to emerge.
Hugh van Cuylenburg researched keys to resilience amongst impoverished children in India. Their joyful attitude starkly contrasted with that of his Aussie students. Hugh proposed the acronym GEM from identifying habits of gratitude, empathy and mindfulness as keys to their wellbeing. The children were immediately and explicitly grateful for basic necessities, cared for each other in an ongoing way and chose to meditate each morning. A summary of his book, The Resilience Project , can be found in the Weekend Australian magazine 23-24 Nov 2019.
Well done to our resilient, local community in the wake of flood and fire damage recently. Empathic offerings of hot showers, power outlets, free refrigeration and a sharing of meals with affected neighbours were frequent. Alternative venues, (including other churches), were offered to the resilient C3 Church, who didn’t miss a Sunday in the wake of the Lane Cove Public School fire.
Being grateful for what is in front of us, being kind to others and cultivating stillness of being are simple practices. (Try our free meditation group weekly 11.30am on Thursdays). However, they require our intentionality until they become habitual. Resilience and regeneration are some of the prizes. Be a GEM for your own sake and for those around you.
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The articles here were written by Peter Andrews on behalf of the Chaplaincy Team from beginning 2023.