(this is the script of my Pause for Thought on Vanessa, BBC Radio 2 on July 6th 2022... The theme was My Independence Day)
I used to use this crazy illustration of independence when I was I trying to catch the attention of teenagers… way back in the day.
I would get them to imagine that they had a beautiful Lamborghini. I’d get them to drive it up their nearest mountain and find a straight road back down. Turn the Lamborghini. Open a window. Get out. Reach in… and put the gear into neutral… and let off the hand break.
Now, watch that independent Lamborghini set out alone. Free to do what it likes. Watch as it picks up speed. Wow. Then watch as it makes for the first corner… oops… straight over the hedge into a field and… watch it roll…
Independence it appears doesn’t work for a Lamborghini. It needs a driver. To reach its full potential as a very expensive sports car… inter-dependence is the better way.
I am not a great fan of independence. I think it is over rated. Maybe misunderstood. I think it is confused with freedom.
Many think our human freedoms are reached by independence. I think we’re more like Lamborghinis.
I am a fan of inter dependence. In every important aspect of my life… “home, faith and work”, to quote my favourite Deacon Blue song, I am a better human for my inter-dependence.
I reckon the South African Xhosa tribe have got this one right, in their most famous word Ubuntu. Ubuntu means that to be fully me I need everybody else.
I think this is what Jesus was on about when he said that we should love God and our neighbour. He even went as far as saying that we should love our enemies. Jesus reckoned that we need to be inter-dependent to find the full potential of our own humanity. We cannot be who we were made to be without healthy relationships with others.
So in family. The right inter-dependence with Janice helps me become the human I should be. In faith my dependence on God is crucial to fulfilment. Vocationally my inter-dependence with a staff team, church leaders and even congregation is vital for me to do what I was born to do.
Without inter-depedence to all of them I cannot be fully me!