I heard an interview with Helen Fielding recently, who was herself shocked to see on the BBC news one evening, an announcement that Mark Darcy had died, shortly after an update from Syria. In her latest novel, ( which I’ve not yet read), she apparently kills off the leading man, who captures Bridget’s heart in the 90’s. She has since had to reassure people several times that the actor Colin Firth is not actually dead, just the character in her novels!
Bridget Jones has really connected with a huge audience both in the UK, and in the interview Helen Fielding was asked why she thought that was. She thought it was something to do with the gap between her intentions and aspirations and her actual behaviour, that so many people could identify with! e.g. Number of cigarettes 10, number of new year’s resolutions achieved 0… etc.
Also Helen Fielding felt that her ability to beat herself up about all her own personal failings was something that we can all relate to. Most people don’t achieve everything they set out to on a daily basis, and often how you “are” is so much more important that what you “do”. When the first book came out, I lived with a lady called Sharon, was single, had dodgy taste in men and tried to drink chardonnay on a daily basis! I loved Bridget as she made me feel normal!
I kind of think that if she was a believer, she would agonise other some of the following…
-number of prayers said
-number of good works completed
-number of cakes/bread baked
-number of holy things the kids have said
-number of people introduced to faith…
-number of swear-words uttered/thought!
However my experience is that God isn’t really interested in all of this, as much as we are. He knows our shortcomings better than we do, and isn’t really interested in grand gestures, or guilt at all. Jesus certainly wasn’t and when he died on the cross, it was to wipe out fear, guilt and shame not to instill this in anyone.
Matthew v 28-31, the Parable of the Two Sons, could be applied to most situations that we face today. Did you do show up for your kids or your husband, or your mum, did you do what you said you would? Did you deliver at work? It doesn’t matter if you stayed late or not, just was the work done? The more time I spend in prayer, the more I realise God has a realistic opinion of me, and is normally pretty happy with my efforts.
“In Christ Alone” is one of my favourite worship songs, and the last verse sums this up for me..
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand