it's been a while since i've written anything here which could classify as an "original thought".. ok an original sentence, at least. I doubt many original thoughts exist anymore but meanwhile, here's an attempt on my part to make sense of the last couple of weeks since I wrote down anything substantial here. So, as a disclaimer, I am writing the next couple of paras partly as documentation for my own personal purposes, and partly to update the 3 or so people who actually read this blog. :D
I was browsing through my journal yesterday night at ministry school (in church, every tuesday nights, led by the very inspirational mark wilkinson) and came across this entry, dated 22 Feb 2007, where I wrote: "It is in the menial tasks which we find ourselves doing that God is exalted. In the backwater, where nobody sees nothing, where the limelight is not focused, it is there that I find joy abounds, and grace abounds even more, for a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving is offered up, in the midst of apathy, doubt, fear, laziness, depression and anger."
Ok, so, the latter part of that previous sentence pretty much summed up frustrated feelings with regards to school that I've experienced in the past year or so. I have never been this unmotivated and apathetic and I have no single source of blame (except maybe myself, for allowing attitudes and work ethic to slide to an all time low). That, with a measure of wrong thinking about life, purpose, destiny - the age old question of "what on earth am I here for?", had led to a long season of paralysis of the brain and will, which for all intent and purposes, I hope is finally coming to an end as I allow truth to renew my thinking, and change my prayer to "ok god, let it be done on earth as it is in heaven".
Anyways, long story short, I was in the shower today and it occurred to me that it's not about how well or badly you start, it's about how well you finish. And yes, I did not exactly had a great start off the blocks this academic year in terms of studies, and yes, I have myself to blame for a lot of the consequences that come about when your default mode is procrastination, yet I am confident that it is God's grace that will ultimately see me through this very challenging season. "There is now no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus". God has forgiven. New life awaits. I'm shaking off the guilt and moving into new life. Am also resolving to give it my all again (and again and again), despite previous disappointments, hurts, and all the rubbish that comes with life. Acknowledge it, deal with it, and move on, I say.
It's definitely a battle I am fighting. But I am confident that God is making my way perfect and arming me with strength. As Shiels my dear mate used to tell me, "we gain strength from the battle, not for the battle.
Being thankful in all circumstances, I can definitely look back and think that "wow, god has done great things among us". In school (despite the hang-ups), in church - our connect group is just overflowing and each week is better than the last, in relationships - brett is just about the sweetest, funniest, most generous guy I've met in my life and while I don't think "madly in love" characterizes our relationship just yet, I do know that we are building a solid friendship which will last for life. Brendan in church last night was talking about how important it was to find a "friend of destiny", especially in our partners. Not just someone to fall in love and do life together with, but someone whom you know will run with you with the same amount of passion (or more) for god's purposes of love to be accomplished on this earth.
I did get a job with the accommodation office which is such a blessing. Working two days a week now and i'm so thankful for god's favour. Have amazing friends and colleagues. I think the only thing that's kinda bugging me now is my school work, so please pray for me peeps (ie, you, among the 3 or so people who have read through the ramblings this far:).
it's brett's birthday today. he turns 32. we're just so blessed with the people in our world, with a great church, with our jobs/school, and just about everything in between. challenges are great. they make us stronger. frustration is my friend. he makes me more determined to do well. (or at least he's supposed to. i hope he does!)
God's been just so amazing as well, in engineering circumstances and people to just come and bless us and speak into our lives. I'm just continually being challenged by other people's examples of faith and love.
Was talking to gail and brett today about coming to a point in my life where i'm just so singlemindedly focused on what i know god wants me to do, that i don't know any other way. Just don't know. Other options do not exist. I was thinking about this in reference to a memorial that is just on the field in front of the london eye. The memorial consist of a stone carving of a group of men and women looking south together, with this inscription beneath it: "In memory of the men and women of the who gave their lives in the war of 1941-1945: They went because they saw no other way". I think that whole memorial just encapsulated what I know to be true deep down in my soul, that I want to "go" because I can see no other way. No other cause to live for, and need be, to die for. Reminds me Kierkegaard's famous "Purity of heart is to will one thing" quote which has been resonating in my head for the longest time. The ONE THING. I'm beginning to think that we make the one thing, the one thing. We kinda decide, and god engineers circumstances to lead us time and again to make that decision. Sometimes though we become careless and allow weeds to grow in our garden and circumstances and wrong thinking to cloud our minds and hearts and numb us towards feeling, acknowledging or even caring about what we know to be true deep down in our bones. Or maybe most of the time, we are just too stubborn and proud to acknowledge the true master of our lives. Whichever, however, whatever: the great news is that god's mercy and grace abounds and i imagine he's just waiting for us to turn back to him and seek his purposes again, no matter how many times we have "failed". we were destined to fail time and time again. perfection, unfortunately, lies on the other side of eternity.
The weather's perking up as well, with just beautiful sunny skies the past week, although someone today told me it might snow next week. England weather is crazy this year. :)
Ok I hope that's enough updates for now. I'm just "going flat out like a lizzie drinkin'" (i'm learning all these aussie-isms) for school right now as the deadlines are all looming up in my face. Please keep praying for me.
"For who is God, except our LORD?
And who is a rock, except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength,
And makes my way perfect
He makes my feet like the feet of deer,
And sets me on high places.
He teaches my hands to make war
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You have also given me the shield of salvation
Your right hand has held me up
Your gentleness has made me great"