OPINION: West Ham archdeacon Elwin Cockett believes in living life to the full

PUBLISHED: 08:00 03 May 2017


Of all the times of the year, this is my favourites.

Winter is over, and we can get out and live life to the full. And yes, contrary to what some might think, I do believe in living life to the full.

I heard the story recently of a girl from London who spent her summer holidays with an aunt on a Scottish island. Her aunt was very religious, and after church on Sundays there was not a lot to do. She certainly could not do anything that would disturb the island’s Sabbath calm. So she went for a quiet walk down a lane to a field where she found donkey, which came over to see her. She saw that the donkey had that very sad-looking face that donkey’s faces often have. Stroking the donkey, she whispered in its ear, ‘So you’ve got religion as well?’

Sadly, that’s the picture that many people have of religion. All too often, faith is seen as dull and life-less. And yet Jesus himself said that he came so that people might have ‘life in all its fullness’. So I want to encourage people to enjoy life, to have fun with others, and to love God’s creation in all its amazing diversity.

That is not to say that life should always be like a sunny holiday. As every athlete knows, ‘life in all its fullness’ can be hard work at times. But it’s often in working through such challenges that we learn most about ourselves and grow in strength and maturity.

Of course, it is difficult to have a fulfilling life if we know that others are struggling. To eat a great meal beside someone who has nothing is no pleasure at all. To share what we have can be fulfilling in itself. It was revealed recently that the last tweet of the Spurs’ coach, Ugo Ehiogu, before he died was ‘Gave a homeless girl £10 last night in Dalston. She didn’t ask or beg. Random impulsive act from me. Not gona lie. Felt good.’ What a great epitaph for a life lived in all its fullness that was! More from Elwin

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