When Conor moves to a new tough school it’s not long before he spots Raphina, standing on some steps across the street. He goes over to say hello and immediately falls for her. When she tells him she’s a model he asks her if she wants to be in a video for a song he and his band are making. When she says yes he has a problem. He needs to get a band and a song and an idea for a video. With the help of his new friend Mick he gathers a bunch of wannabe musicians and together they form the band Sing Street. Here’s the second video they make with Raphina.
‘You can never do anything by half, do you understand that?’
So says Raphina after she has jumped into the sea, unable to swim, for the sake of making a great video.
A few years ago I was out collecting sea weed and beach bits with some friends to decorate a room for a seaside theme. One of my friends grabbed the biggest lump of driftwood he could find and we dragged it up the sand together. When I laughed about it and asked him why this huge lump he said, ‘Whatever you do – do it with all your heart,’
I’d like to be able to do everything with all my heart. I want to not do things by halves. But I am cautious, I’m shy, I’m nervous about some things. So there are times when I dawdle about on the edge of life. If there is one thing you can say about Jesus it’s that he never did things by halves. He was totally whole-hearted. He didn’t hang about on the edge, but threw himself completely into life, with all its pressures, mess, misunderstandings and risks.
As I muddle on through this life, making attempts to follow Jesus, I often struggle to do it wholeheartedly, but I have found that God is gentle, not beating me with a big stick, but instead wooing me, beckoning me, calling me to keep following. To be a little more whole-hearted about it. When a religious expert asked Jesus about the most important rule when following God, Jesus replied with a line from the book of Deuteronomy, ‘Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.’ In other words, do your best to be wholehearted. (See Mark 12 vv 28-34) When the man nodded and agreed Jesus told him he was very close to the kingdom of God. I constantly fail at that invitation to be wholehearted, so thank God for the sacrifice Jesus made on that cross, which constantly brings help and forgiveness for our regular moments of failure.