By Jeremy Rensford, chair of the Shepparton Ministers’ Association
I LOVE the outdoors. Part of my self-care ritual is to regularly sit with God, in silence, in my local park in Shepparton.
It’s amazing how still, calm and settling it can be to just slow down, get away from the phone, stop and enjoy God’s creation.
Speaking of His creation, the other thing I love about being outdoors is to travel far and wide and observe the amazing world we live in, and the intricate design and beauty contained therein.
Observing this beautiful world we live in and nature and the outdoors, I’ve landed at believing with all my heart that something so amazing and wonderful can’t exist by pure chance.
I’m not naïve, I realise many scientists who are much smarter than me believe this planet has come about by a big bang, through pure luck and coincidence. Others would beg to differ and suggest there has to be intelligent design. This is up for debate.
But for this simple man, it’s a matter of being incredulous to the idea that the complex, the grand, the amazing, can come about without a designer, just by pure chance.
Arguably, it takes more faith to believe there is no designer than that there is.
And I’d take this further to say God’s best work in all of this, is making you and me.
One of the reasons this discussion is important, is about purpose in life. As a church minister that spends many hours in community conversations, I know that many people, especially young people, want to believe that we are here on this planet for a reason and want to believe there is a God (‘someone out there’).
That there is eternity to look forward to after we die and to live life with purpose because we are not just here by random chance to live, work hard, make money, spend money and die, with nothing afterwards.
I wonder if some of the societal issues we are facing could see a turnaround with this simple and powerful message being conveyed, especially to our troubled youth: You are created with a purpose, you are a masterpiece created by God, you have a destiny, a reason that you are here, and you are loved.
I believe this to be true, and I’ve personally seen these beliefs transform people’s outlooks for good.