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The choices we make shape our experience of life

Saturday 16 April 2022 | Written by Thomas Tarurongo Wynne | Published in Opinion

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The choices we make shape our experience of life
Columnist Thomas Tarurongo Wynne. Photo: CI NEWS/16040843

Easter reminds those of us of faith that under immense stress and pressure, Jesus made a choice and one that would lead him to the Cross – this is something many of us took time and reflected on yesterday, writes Thomas Tarurongo Wynne.

Easter eggs, and chocolate bunnies, it would seem the Pagan origins of Easter have over time made their way back to their beginnings with the commercial push against the Christian traditions of Easter that we have all come to know. The Bunny versus Jesus, it’s a strange tension, but it is also a reflection of the world we live in and again that Easter’s historical beginnings have made their way home again.

We know that everything has a beginning and an end, and everything a season a time and a moment when one fades so that another can rise out of the dim sunlight of those past moments into the new. Easter is so much more than eggs and chocolate and even if we take out the religious overtones, it can still speak to us as to what in our life must die, so something can be resurrected from the tomb of that death. 

Sometimes it is relationships, that no longer feed our soul or give us joy, and yet we drag them around like a dead corpse, because of a sense of duty, or shame, or habit, and yet we will never truly know happiness, and joy in a relationship until we let go of what is already dead and turn our hearts to new possibilities. Simply put we cannot resurrect a new relationship of meaning while we are holding on to one that has died or have not yet found the courage to let go, and yet when we let go all we will wonder is why we did not do it earlier.

Relationships, jobs, school, studies, life itself is a continual moving from one season to another yet unlike winter, and summer, whose seasons are controlled by the elements and the planets, our seasons are very much controlled and measured by the power of our will and our God given freedom to choose. Choice is ours to do with as we will and yes there are times our choices are constrained by people and circumstances but ultimately and even under immense pressure, we make a choice. 

Easter reminds those of us of faith that under immense stress and pressure Jesus made a choice and one that would lead him to the Cross, and something we took time and reflected on yesterday. Choice is what sets us apart and choice is not only what determines the course of our lives but also holds us to account for our lives and what we did with it.

What must die so it can be resurrected in my life is something I have been thinking and reflecting on this Easter weekend – what are those places where I have held on too long something that died so many years ago and why have I not let go, so something beautiful can be resurrected in its place. I heard this speaker talk about what dies in our lives becoming the fertiliser or mulch for what can then grow in its place and that has stayed with me because it is so true. And as I write my last column for a season, as I step into a new role at work and what it requires of me, I wonder what the fertiliser of this season of writing will resurrect in new ways that I have not yet considered or even understand yet. 

But when it grows, I will know it was because I let something die in its place, and that because of that decision something new was given the chance to grow. And that’s the Easter story, woven into the lives of us all whether we are followers of Jesus or not. Our lives are framed by life and death, from one season to the next and something new growing from something that died.

I spent Easter Friday with Pastor Terence Tauira, his wife Mama Kite and the church family at Victory Church in Porirua, and the joy, the singing, the ei katus, ukuleles and message filled my heart like only our people, our culture, our reo and our churches can do.  I left with my heart full, and as people of faith celebrate Easter around the world and in the Cook Islands and as I write my last column for a season, I wish you all a blessed Easter, a well-deserved break from what has been a challenging last couple of years and that you find a place in your heart for a Father who loves us more than we could ever know and who sacrificed it all so that we could be his sons and daughters. Te Atua te aroa.