20 years on from Train Spotting (TS), ‘Train Spotting 2’ sees Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle & Co face up to mid-life realisation that they’re closer to death than birth and time’s running out to find themselves, or at least salvage some semblance of significance and meaning to life. The new ‘Choose Life’ monologue:

“Choose life
Choose Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and hope that someone, somewhere cares
Choose looking up old flames, wishing you’d done it all differently
And choose watching history repeat itself
Choose your future
Choose reality TV, slut shaming, revenge porn
Choose a zero hour contract, a two hour journey to work
And choose the same for your kids, only worse, and smother the pain with an unknown dose of an unknown drug made in somebody’s kitchen
And then… take a deep breath
You’re an addict, so be addicted
Just be addicted to something else
Choose the ones you love
Choose your future
Choose life”

I look forward to seeing Danny Boyle’s attempt to traverse the years since TS 1. It won’t be for the faint hearted or easily offended, but, along with some hilarious dark humour, I expect a deep dose of truth telling and whistle blowing on some of the BS myths people settle for, while attempting to ‘choose’ life rather than simply letting it happen to them.

We spend most of our annual leave at a family holiday home in an idyllic fishing village near Tain, but last week we swapped ‘Tain Spotting’ (groan!) for ‘Tignes Spotting’ (groan 2!). We broke the bank, and 2 of my 6 annual Sundays off, to ski with some delightful people (some in their late 70’s!).

IMG_8359I hadn’t really skied for 17 years, and wanted to save money by taking our own 28 year old equipment; 2 metre skis, close-fitting boots and poles, which once freed me for the thrill of whizzing down hills with ease BC (before children)? However, friends encouraged me to leave my antiques at home and hire the new ‘Shape’ skis. Good Choice! Their shorter, banana shaped, flexier, sharper edges had me carving turns and bouncing from side to side with even greater ease. A good example of new technology seriously improving technique and enjoyment of a pursuit.

IMG_8195As I marvelled at awesome French Alpine views and did some ‘ski-spotting’, watching folk skiing on their ‘Shape’ skis, I noticed not everyone got the full benefit of banana carving their turns, perhaps due to ignorance or the choice ‘to ski the way they originally learnt’. As the Train Spotting films graphically portray, life is all about choices. In a real sense ‘Life chooses you’, with IMG_8454choices, out of your hands, related to birth, parenting, privilege, lack of privilege, etc. Then there are the personal choices we get to make, many much more important than how you ski, or whether you manage to ski or not.

ChoicesAs I see it, the most important choice is ‘God’s choice’ of you as his very own beloved son or daughter, next is ‘your choice’ to accept or reject God’s choice of you for such purposeful intimacy, thirdly it’s ‘our choices’ related to becoming the best we can be with the help of Father, Son and Spirit. Alas, many reject God’s Choice, but almost as tragic is the choice to half-heartedly follow Jesus and settle for second best.