Dr John Smith: Get away to appreciate what you have

Sometimes we have to go away to appreciate where we live and what we have, says Dr John

Sometimes we have to go away to appreciate where we live and what we have, says Dr John

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Sometimes you need to go away to appreciate what you have.

Many of us have a tendency to criticise, to moan about our lot, our lives, the place where we live.

I remember a friend who always thought Kettering was a dirty place, full of rubbish and litter.

He spent a few weeks working away in another country, came back and immediately remarked what a clean place Kettering was.

More importantly, we need to move away or stand back sometimes from our relationships and friends to realise just how important they are, to recognise the good in people and then to tell them, cherish them and support them.

We do need in a very genuine way to love our neighbour.

That is what I preach on Sundays and every day of my life. What is at the heart of the Christian message and should be at the very heart of the way we live.

For the past few weeks I have been on a sabbatical, having a break from the church where I serve and worship.

And how I have missed the community there. I realise just how much their friendship and love sustains me and, I hope, how I sustain them.

Criticising and moaning gets us nowhere. It is so easy to be negative and it is so destructive.

When we love and care for and about others, that love and care comes bouncing back to us.

The world can be a very lonely place when we choose to be negative about it and its people. So go away for a while if you can to another country, another city, even another town or village.

Open your eyes and see what a remarkable world we live in, how diverse we are as human beings, how remarkable, then come back and appreciate what we have and the place in which we live.