BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the Day

© John Denney 15 November 2004[1]


Iím not a morning person.I need a coffee and a shower before Iím fit to face the world.Sometimes, while Iím still snug under the duvet, trying to summon up the willpower to roll out of bed, I think to myself, ďSuppose I stay here today.What difference would it make in the grand scheme of things?ĒAnd itís certainly true that a great deal of the things weíre worrying about this morning Ė what the boss is going to say about that missed target; how Iím going to pay that final demand from the gas people; what Iím going to say to heal the rift between her and me; those sort of things Ė itís certainly true that in a hundred years time no one will even know about them, let alone care.


But today there are people who care about you.Maybe itís someone who relies on us, or someone who looks forward to our company, who would notice if we werenít there.


Yesterday was Remembrance Sunday.By our village war memorial, we gathered: the youth organisations, the churches, the parish council, the British Legion, the villagers, with our poppies and our wreaths.The Last Post was sounded.The roll call of men from the village who died in the First World War and the Second, and in conflicts since, was read out.Each one of them was remembered.There were people present who bear some of the same surnames, but not a few of those names have died out.But still we remembered them; ordinary people just like us who faced an extraordinary situation, and whose lives were taken from them, that we might be free.


God shaped humans to remember.Truly, the fact that we hold acts of remembrance gives those who were sacrificed a sort of immortality.Their names do live on.In recent days, we have heard of the deaths of Yasser Arafat, Fred Dibnah, Emlyn Hughes, Howard Keel and John Peel, and their families and friends will be mourning them still.This morning, people from my village are mourning Betty Ė whom youíve probably never heard of, but who was dear to many people beyond her family.Her name lives on, just as those celebritiesí names will live on.


Itís in the impact we have on other people that our life gains purpose.Like Jesus, weíre here to bring love to others.Thatís the meaning of life: to live it in love.


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[1] On this day, BBC Radio Leicester ran a theme through all its programmes: ďWhat is the meaning of life?ĒThis Thought was written with this in mind.