I started coming across the word ‘holistic’ a few years ago. Within the context of who I am, it means that I cannot separate the various parts of my life, to the extent that I handle one part whilst totally ignoring other parts. I guess that even the words, ‘I am an elderly, retired, Christian, Norfolk, curry-loving, wife-loving, family-loving, overweight, curly haired retiree’ is missing many things that I am. But the point is – we don’t live our life in boxes, one box at a time.
As a dentist, I tried to treat my patients in the way that I myself would want to be treated – gently!! And not charging unfairly. I try and remember to pace myself, as I cannot do all that the young Barrie did. Time can be spent with Wendy, as well as family, as well as fulfilling church commitment, and so on. And I do not eat exclusively curry, even if some people think I do.
My writing and books are in two genres – Christian faith and anecdotal. The anecdotal were mainly dental, though the most recent majors on Norfolk. But I like to be holistic – I cannot keep my dental life out of my Christian, and nor vice versa. Likewise when I am speaking. I find that when I am teaching or preaching, illustrations from my previous life as a dentist tend to be used, and when I am writing or speaking to entertain, we might find Jesus quickly strolling across the page, or the after-dinner talk. There is nothing contrived in this – I am just trying to live in a holistic manner.
Which reminds me of an unusual invitation I had to speak at a church group around 10 years ago. It was at Old Buckenham or New Buckenham, and they were having a social/outreach evening in the Gamekeeper public house. I was asked to speak 60% humorous and 40% spiritual. “Make them laugh. Give testimony. Preach the gospel. Don’t give an appeal”. I did my best. They thought they would get 100, but it was nearer 120. A third to a half were non-church, not practising Christians. They laughed.
They listened to my account of conversion and answered prayer. And after I had finished, almost everyone stayed chat.
Thank you to those who have bought, and even read, Big Blue Sky. Thank you to Waterstones for stocking it, and Jarrolds, and Roys and lots of other well-known book shops. Over 200 pages, and just 2 describing my spiritual journey. It started with jumble sales…. so there’s a laugh! Holistic. And I feel that being so has integrity, which is a quality I hope to practise.
Take care – and God bless you.