It's funny how a change in the weather can make us reflect on life , much like a song or smell that we haven't encountered for some time can spark up a moment of nostalgia. I understand that for the majority of readers, your April showers bring on those stunning May flowers, whereas Aucklands showers represent the onslaught of winter. Fall is in the air. It's just warm enough to get me outside, while cool enough to suppress the bug population that had a uncanny ability to find their way into the back of my throat while cycling.
Winter to me holds a dark beauty with a quiet sense of peace and tranquility in the air. It's moments like these where time seems to slow down, and one can reflect deeply over the course of events of their life (for better or worse). In the last few days possibly more than ever before, I have come into a deeper awareness of God. Giddy(?), might adequately describe my present situation. On Tuesday I “randomly” received five emails from five different people that expressed that I had been strongly on their hearts recently. This lead me to do one of two things, the first of which say, “Father is something going to go terribly wrong soon and this is the prep?,” and the second being, “Thank You Father, I think.” In the last week I have found ample time to study 8-10 hours a day and a time to just slow down and dwell deeply by eating, exercising and laughing, to prayer and prayerful study. As of now, I think my second response minus the “I think,” was most appropriate. A response of praise. Nothing outstandingly difficult has occurred this week as this two week break I'm on represents the calm before the storm of term two. Ah, a refreshing time.
I have been reading numerous philosophical works as I'm drawing together the sources that will make my project on theologian/missionary Leslie Newbigins book Proper Confidence, go. It has been tremendously rich. Without Christ as the center of everything though, none of us this makes sense. The philosophers search of objective truth and the truest reality will prove forever elusive without the framework of Christ's life, death, burial and resurrection. Philosophy while helpful in defining, can't bring purpose or complete certainty for that matter; Christ alone is certainty. Science contains great merit in and of itself (providing medical breakthroughs etc), but where science falls short is providing story. Science can explain how things work, but not the said things purpose. Without Christ there is no purpose and we should doubt everything, but in him and how he lived, things become clear.
In the current life I live, one rooted and grounded in the story of the Gospel, I have continually been seeing beautiful connections formed around me as all the seemingly disconnected stories/seasons(experiences) of my life convene into one larger whole and that bigger picture is what God is up to in the 21st century through me and his people, the church. Working with Excel students where there are struggles with alcohol and intense sexuality issues, has taught me to rely more and more on the example of Christ as my ways of understanding fail me without Him. What a joy it is to journey with young men and women as I attempt to show them why they live and breath as I seek to connect their story with the true reality of the world, a world under that brilliant light of the Incarnation.
In this season (and forever I suppose) I feel as if I'm working through complexity(Learning) to get back to simplicity (Christ) but I know without a doubt that I'm loved and I'm pursued, feeling the overwhelming warmth of the one who created me. Yes, I am loved and I'm pursued. I stand in awe of God as I reflect on my life and experiences by the communities that have shaped me.
As a tree stripped of its leaves lays bare for all to see, we see the frame and structure of what is normally covered and dignified exposed to the elements during winter. What really is the structure and framework of the tree? It certainly doesn't look as impressive as it did when it had everything together. I have felt like a stripped tree at times(to spoof Spidermans take of leadership: “With great responsibility comes great embarrassment”), as I realized the outside that covered me was my own doing, built on various misunderstandings of my purpose/pride etc. Life is so much better when covered within the frameworks and exposure to Christ's love. With the humility that comes through admitting nakedness+ shortcomings, Christ works. I trade my exposed frame for the fullness of his, that's all I want, I don't want to be naked and exposed but covered, living in Christ with his wisdom and understanding when my words and thoughts+actions fail me. I can't explain all that my racing thoughts hold in these sentences, but it is my prayer that my heart came through. I pray that God would reveal himself to you in a way that is pertinent to your present situation, whatever season you may find yourself in. I hope you would come into a greater awareness of his presence and majesty..... that, and purpose. What a joy it is to write to you all.
“Lord to who else shall we go? You have the words of eternal life!”