I wish I could write the Bible, Jesus or Mother Theresa but I think A Country Practice may actually be the greatest influence of my life!! Yes, the Australian drama series that ran from 1981-1994, I watched it faithfully for my entire childhood. My husband does not like it when I refer to him as my Dr Terence Elliott but is the greatest compliment I can bestow on him. I grew up admiring the tall, caring, passionate and intelligent Dr Elliott and the comment from Matron Sloan rings in my ears "You are a good man Dr Elliott", so too is my husband.
Not only did this show influence who I married it affected my career. I loved the community of Wandin Valley, they all cared for each other, they stood up for what they believed in, many worked in roles that improved the life of those around them such as Doctors, nurses, foster parents and teachers, when they had a party the whole town was invited and generally they were committed to a healthy and sustainable way of life. My professional career to date has involved me studying and working in the field of Community Economic Development. I actually was employed to support, promote and build inclusive, healthy and vibrant communities. The best job in the world I thought. This career path has meant I have always lived in smaller rural communities and when I travelled around Australia I got so much joy visiting all the little towns and experiencing their communities.
Proverbs 4:23 says "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life". A Country Practice is not really the point but consciously thinking about what you watch, read and how you spend your time is the point.
What our family watches on television, what we read, who we spend time with; is it just harmless and funny or is it influencing the course of our life. If we live in an environment where inclusiveness, tolerance and kindness is abundant chances are this will impact on the way we behaves towards others. We can surround ourselves with joyful, kind, generous, thoughtful people and this will likely impact on the way we behave.
The great news is the choice is all ours. You can blame the influences of the world or you can simply make different choices. Proverbs 27:17 says "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another". I am not making a comment on what anybody should or shouldn't watch, read, listen to or who people should spend time with or go to school, I write this only to highlight all these little, seemingly insignificant things, can impact on your life in a significant way.
What has been, or is, the greatest influence in your life? Be honest, it can't be worse than A Country Practice!