Monday, February 16, 2009

a bundle of parallel thoughts

1. I don't know what I am being called to do with my life. I keep meeting missionaries or hearing them speak and feeling like there is such singleminded passion there, kept under singleminded control... It drives my life and my current direction into stark contrast as a mix-up of ideas with no real mission. I don't know what I am being asked to do and it would be nice to know there is something. I don't mean I have to preach standing on a box in the Amazon rainforest or deepest Africa or something. In fact, I know that's not my path in life! But hearing people who work for agencies like Wycliffe Bible Translation... it makes me wonder whether I made the right choices when I gave up on Linguistics, or decided it was silly and self-indulgent to study Biblical Greek. It's not too late to go back, but then again I don't think I want to, and maybe my task is to be right where I am. I don't know!! Does anyone? All I can do is pray that God will lead me, and that I won't simply continue just to walk through open doors in the assumption that God opened them for me.

2. Meanwhile, I am undergoing a new regime in my behaviour, and it is astonishing me. After my crisis described in an earlier post ("my testimony"), I've been really happy, and also really determined not to slip into apathy again. One of my steps has been to start reading the Bible every day. In the past I've thought it made most sense to follow where the Spirit led, in a way, and just read whatever I felt like. A nice thought, but I've come to know myself a bit better and have accepted that I need discipline and routine - or the Bible reading just doesn't happen. So I bought a book called For the Love of God, by D. A. Carson, the theory being that if I have paid for something I will feel bound to use it! This follows one of those read-the-Bible-in-a-year programmes, and also has a reading written by Carson for every day. So every day I read a chapter of four different books. At the moment, I am six days in, having just read Genesis 6, Matthew 6, Ezra 6, Acts 6. I am amazed. Even on the days when I read a bit carelessly, things have just gone much more smoothly. The old temptations still turn up but I just don't want to act on them anymore. They're not that interesting. I am hoping this lasts and so I am determined to continue with the Bible reading.

3. No specifics here, because it's someone else's private matter, but I am feeling incredibly sad because someone I care about a lot, I have heard, is getting a divorce. I feel so guilty for hearing about this via the old 'don't-pass-this-around-to-everyone-but...' gossip. And I feel so miserable for this person who very obviously adored their spouse not too distantly in the past. And I know this is asking too much of anyone but I had hoped that this person and their spouse were the one exception in an environment of failed marriages. It's been hanging over me like a depressing cloud all day and all I can do is pray for him/her and hope that their faith in God gets them through this.

Sunday, February 08, 2009


Let's all pray for Australia at the moment, in its deadly struggle against the fires currently rampaging through certain tinder-dry areas, which have already claimed 84 lives and destroyed whole towns. In a cruel twist, the floods in the north have sent crocodiles into the towns, who are also claiming lives.

Pray that if any people have been responsible for starting the fires, they will be caught and stopped quickly.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

keeping the faith...

... by sitting on mountain tops.

I've been away. My other blog describes it, in much detail, but for me the highlight was climbing a mountain in Fiordland. We walked up through the most beautiful ferny forest and then burst out from the treeline into the mountains. Once at the top, nothing could be seen for miles but mountains, and all I wanted to do was sit on my rock and absorb it all.
Being a modern woman, I know that heaven isn't physically up, but still, sitting on top of a mountain makes me feel closer to God. It's a sensual experience; I simply don't have time to rationalise or overanalyse anything; my head is too full to think of anything. Paradoxical? Maybe. But I think there's a reason the ancients worshipped God on his mountains.
Sometimes I feel like I have glimpses of eternity, like for a fraction of a moment of a flash, I can see God in all his bigness - but I can never grasp it. On the top of a mountain, the sensation reverses itself. There is a long, drawn-out awareness of God around me and within me, but I can't even explain what I am seeing. I don't care about all my questions anymore, I just want to praise God.
And then I drag myself away, and I walk down the mountain. Every little plant, every leaf is bright and good and I like to go slowly and take it all in.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
his praise from the ends of the earth,
you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it,
you islands, and all who live in them.
Let the desert and its towns raise their voices;
let the settlements where Kedar lives rejoice.
Let the people of Sela sing for joy;
let them shout from the mountaintops.
Let them give glory to the LORD
and proclaim his praise in the islands.
Isaiah 42:10-12