Encouragement for the Journey 24 January 2016

An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand

Encouragement for the Journey 24 January 2016

Encouragement for the Journey


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Greetings fellow traveller,

 A person whose life and writings has been a strong influence on my ministry is Albert Schweitzer. On a boat trip on the river Ogoowe in Gabon in 1915 which was once French Equatorial Africa, while searching for a universal concept of ethics for our time. He came up with the phrase in German “Ehrfurcht vor dem Leben” meaning Reverence for Life (however it is more accurately translated as: “to be in awe of the mystery of life”).

 Since that moment of epiphany he based his life and medical practice on that simple yet profound concept on the reverence or awe of life. The following are some quotes from his writings for our reflection:

“Constant kindness can accomplish much.

 As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate.”

 “A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life which he is able to assist, and shrinks from injuring anything that lives.”

 “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”

 “Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.”

The basis of Schweitzer’s philosophy of life was:

“Reverence for Life affords me my fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, assisting and enhancing life, and to destroy, to harm or to hinder life is evil.”

May his words be an encouragement along your journey of life, to have reverence for all life with acts of compassion and kindness.

Meanwhile Peace

Alf