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“Choose Life”…  I wonder what, if anything, this slogan means to you? Perhaps it looks like an advertising catchphrase? Perhaps you recognise it as the mantra from the film, Trainspotting? Actually, this fantastic maxim originates from the Bible. Recorded in the ancient book of Deuteronomy, in his final words to the people not long before he died, Moses used this phrase, encouraging them to ‘choose life’.

For some reason this succinct phrase has been in my mind. Here in the UK, with so many of us now vaccinated and with the gradual easing of restrictions this summer, there’s much to be thankful for. At the same time, many of us are aware of how weary we are. As I listen to people in our community, some are understandably hesitant and anxious; and many feel fragile and vulnerable. 

As I write, I simply want to encourage us all, every day, consciously, to ‘choose life’. This will mean something different to each of us, each day as we ask ourselves: what can I choose today which will bring me life? It might be going for a walk; or having a nap! It could mean phoning a friend for a natter; wandering into church to enjoy the peace and light a candle; having a cuppa with someone; going for a run; picking up those knitting needles or paint brushes; listening to a favourite piece of music; getting green-fingered in the garden; reading a much-loved book… the list is endless! 

I love this simple, yet profound, phrase, ‘choose life’. It’s easy to remember, the hard bit is pausing long enough to ask myself - Julia, right now, with the options in front of me, how can I choose life? This isn’t selfish; it’s the opposite - it’s so important to look after ourselves; care for our own wellbeing; take time for ourselves - to choose life. If we’re replenished and doing well, we’re then able to love and support others. All those millennia ago, at the end of his long, adventure-full life, Moses knew a thing or two! His advice - choose life!

Revd Julia

June 2021


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