Gathering the thoughts of a scatterbrain isn’t easy, particularly if they’re one’s own — so here goes Nothing. In the past fortnight, a number of mini-revelations have been injected into this lump of coalsome flesh that’s been stretched and squeezed beyond its wherewithal to beat with equanimity. Minutes of the meetings between the Big Holy and the sinner small follow:
- Philosophy — does it suck? Or save? Or serve? I think it just drives me batty with my underwhelming overthinking. But sometimes it steadies the ship. Case in point — I was feeling decidedly angsty about the imperfection, impermanence and imaginary quality of all human relationships. Solution — realising that since I already have a ‘signed, sealed, delivered’, altogether enduring, faithful and true relationship with my Lord and Saviour, I should live according to the truth of that, instead of flailing about inside as though I am walking in heels on spongy quicksand.
- Philosophy belonging to another — now this can really suck. Or at least lead a person down a detour with many lessons. For example, the popular injunction to “guard your heart” cannot simply have the meaning generated by the instinct for self-preservation. For one thing, a self-proclaimed follower of Christ cannot in good conscience seal off her heart against anyone if she is to love God with all and neighbour as self. For another, I’m no longer allowed to take verses out of context, and even have to assess how one bit of text leads on to the next. So, being taught that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” is the lens through which the book should be read, Proverbs 4:23 has to be interpreted as a warning against the intrusion of anything that threatens to usurp the central position of God in my life — the doomed machinations of the evil one.
- Love, found — the Big Question in my mind had been, Do I really love you, Lord? Well, well, well, I’ve got a direct answer at last. As though I’d been turned around by the shoulders to peer into my wicked-work-in-sanctifying-progress self, I know now that I can go for days on end without a word to (though there may be many thoughts about) my favourite people on earth, but I cannot consider myself to have lived a day of any worth without words to and from my God.
- Love, lost — so now I also know that, come what may, I have my deep-rooted joy (“my strength in life is I am yours / my soul delights because I am yours / your will on earth is all I’m living for”). I might be less, and less, and less happy (fleeting-type) with every parting of sweet sorrow and such, but my satisfaction with God in all and everything can only grow stronger and surer and purer, unto death.
- My experiences, skills and gifts have been converging nicely in school, a fact that has given me a ready answer to a classmate’s question about how my view of Scripture has been affected by what we’ve been learning about how and by whom the Word of God was put together over centuries. Knowing that redactors (fancy term for editors) were involved has — honestly — made me even more impressed with God’s sovereignty over the sweep of history and how His strength is made clear in vulnerable humanity. (I am also very chuffed at the thought that He surely, intimately knows the pain that editors — so I have sacred forerunners! — go through and the real contributions they make!) I am so, so, so grateful that the more I learn about God, the more I love and am in awe of Him. A thought that brought me close to tears in my counselling session today …
Yes, counselling session! The human view on my bête noire (moi) … reason being the delivery and explanation of the results of the Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis done at the start of the school year. It seems that while I find it easy to mix and muck around, I have to expend more effort in two areas in particular:
- Moderating my tendency to aggressively challenge and argue so as to bring someone over to my point of view — I should basically be (much) more tolerant of other people’s opinions (no matter how misguided they seem, hahaha! … sorry)
- Reining in the impulsiveness of thought and waiting on teammates to absorb and process what’s already on the table, so I don’t end up frustrating them, even if it means giving up the better idea (though I can feel free to leap and bound as much and as far as I like on my own … but where’s the fun in doing that alone? The obnoxious, insecure show-off in me is anxious about that.) I’ve heard this thing about me jumping around too quickly before; the complaint only registers now because, well, I’m sorry not because it’s hard to keep pace, but because it causes dismay. Not wanting to be a millstone, here.