One of the lectionary readings today was from Jerimiah 29:
7 But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
Two reflections come to mind. Do I do the right thing for its own sake or do it for good things to happen to me? The other is to spend some time sitting with the realisation that I can complain about all the personal problems hassles of living in a city and spending my time looking at for myself, my safety, my wellbeing, my welfare or I can realise that this is all caught up with the cause and effect of looking out for my city, Birmingham.
I am fortunate to work in a city centre for an institution that serves our city and further afield. I get to choose to either look out for and work for my own wellbeing or for the hospital I work in. It is not always easy to choose the latter , but most of the time it is not difficult to put sick kids and troubled parents and struggling staff first. Both of us have also sought to invest in local projects for those on the margins.
All our environments are inter connected and related, they cannot be separated. It is tempting to look out for no 1, but most of us have learnt it is not as simple as that and that the principle of serving others is the best for everyone and everywhere. What I seek to achieve will have on affect on those around me so I will go on reflecting on the wisdom in these words from Jeremiah.