It’s a definite indication that I am far more interested in ‘other stuff’ (some of that being sleep) when I get home and write a blog post called: Outline and leave it unpublished in drafts. It disturbs me a bit when I can’t record a day as I’ve been doing it for so long now, it’s a sad substitute.
So! In going with this Outline post pathetic replacement theory – tonight you get to read a blog full of subheadings. This basically means that I am forcing myself to write at least something on everything that I put down late last night.
I did not write these un-dotted dot points in any particular order, so please bear with me. Do your best to follow along by treating each as in an individual post and hopefully I’ll get to daunt you with a horrendous amount of words. *I will wait with great anticipation for the comments about making the font in my blog bigger*
Pearl of Great Price – The God Stuff
Wow, might as well hit you with the biggish one first. The God stuff.
On Friday night I went along to lead youth and after a lot of games and running around we had the ‘God spot’ which Geoff ran, and I really liked. If I’m really honest, it’s possibly purely because I think that this society has severely lost the art of story-telling and I got to enjoy the experience of it. He did a very good job. I had a look around at one stage and everyone was very caught up in it. The story of the pearl of great price can be found in Matthew 13:44-46 and as it’s so short you can read it for yourself:
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
We spent a great deal of time last year looking at what is the Kingdom of God/Kingdom of heaven. I don’t think I ever considered the approach of having to explain the concept to a bunch of kids before. In light of how much depth we tried to simplify previously, presenting it to some very untheologicalised minds is no mean feat. I really should’ve thought about it that way before, the perspective was far better.
I can’t remember exactly how Geoff ended up putting it, but something pretty basic like: living how God wants us to live. This fictional merchant’s joy over his pearl/treasure is pretty much how we should treat living for God. Giving it everything we’ve got. Nothing else matters, being ‘sold out for the cause’. We really, really don’t do this well.
I think the semi-flipside of the coin is that for me, I tend to forget how much of a joy it should be to simply know that we do have the opportunity. What an amazing thing to have God, to know we can approach God and the chance we have to live to please him. In a sense, we’ve already grasped the pearl, already have it… (highly incomplete ideas)
I do like how the story has two perspectives. One for the ‘coming across’ the pearl where you wouldn’t expect to find one, and one for the merchant already out looking for ‘fine pearls’. It fits with our differing attitudes and experiences…
As for the merchant’s joy. I haven’t bizarrely had the worlds easiest time grasping that all recently, despite all the fantastic things going on in my life at the moment. The God stuff has been more difficult, there has been less motivation, although not a lesser desire for it. It’s just been harder. (Which leads nicely into the next point)
Soul Sista – seeing people, attitudes
So, I was at Soul Sista all of Saturday and from the first main session I was talking to God about some of the, having trouble ‘getting’ Him’ at the moment. It became all too clear that I am ( or was – I hope I’m getting there a bit more now) stuck in the head position of knowing the stuff but not really understanding it.
The day itself unfortunately didn’t particularly provide anything highly enlightening in itself (on that ‘theme’), but it was a good time to step back from home and relax a bit. A big part of my intention of going/motive was to suss out the stuff talked about so that I might be able to later have ideas for more gushgirls stuff etc. I knew the day would be aimed at a slightly younger level and it was. Quite helpful in that regard.
I did get the chance, and I found it pretty exciting to write a letter to, ‘whom it may concern’ about refugee/detainee stuff. Something I’ve always looked at doing but never really known how to go about. I am still and always have been in two minds about the whole issue and have not recently done enough research to know exactly what’s going on, but I think it’s pretty important to remind those where it counts, that yes we are dealing with real, feeling, human beings. I pretty much roughly filled out and expanded on a couple of points they had listed on a page of many, but it was good to actually have something set down. Who knows if they get read.
As for the ‘seeing people’ business. I had the fantastic opportunity to run into quite a few people I hadn’t realised would be there. Cathy P (James whom I know through gush modding, his girlfriend) she’s so lovely, met her several times. Sophie from Wattle Park (old church). Beth – Dan D’s friend who I got to know that trip to the beach, and Darryn (YITS)’s sister – Chrissy. I don’t really know her, but got to work out that mysterious, “Why do I know your face” business. That and Analise was there, a crew of Em and Han’s friends, Evie, and Thea for a short while.
Worth a mention, because it is highly typical and I don’t think has ever quite happened to the extent that it did. We got to Camberwell station and the train was delayed, not just 5 or so, but 20 minutes and there was no Lilydale train in sight, so the Belgrave it was. Grabbed some tea (SO GOOD turkish bread spicey mince/veggies thing) ran back to the station. Other waiting passengers (incl. the police we saw on the way down) drooled over our food. Train was packed.
We’re at Ringwood and the announcement comes over to swap to another platform – the platform where you have to go out of the station and up over the crossing. This happened THREE times. Back and forth, back and forth. Several passangers started verbally abusing the station workers, there were people laughing at the ludicrous nature of the situation and on the third ‘Lilydale passengers please note that the 7:00pm will be leaving from platform 1’ there was this glorious collective groan. 150 people trecked back to where they’d just come from. It was much fun, although a little annoying as my phone died and I was having to let various people know when to pick us up/why I was going to be late.
Mention evening spent with Geoff
TRUE! I genuinely wrote this down. So mention it I will. I was originally heading there (Sat night) for dinner, but that didn’t happen (read Connex Trouble again). So it was dessert, and watching GATTACA and some good talking and I made him show me some ‘when he was younger’ photos etc. There… that’s um, mentioned it. It was really good 😀
Why the heck I wrote this one down, as it’s far too large a topic to expand on just as part of a post. Whatever the deal is at the moment, despite it, God has been shoving some pretty good references regarding gratitude in my face lately. I greatly admire those who can live like they are genuinely thankful, it’s such a dramatically different outlook on life. I am seeking I guess to impliment this a bit more in my own life, because I really think that I do have a huge lot to be thankful for. God has been extremely good to me and is extemely good. Any suggestions whatsoever would be welcome. Prayer for this also even in the continued elaboration of this attitude within the ‘less than ideal’ circumstances. It’s a big wide wonderful world, but still big and wide.
…and that’s all folks (*cringe at that lousy word*)
It looks like I’ll have to save my thoughts on Rob’s extravaganza of a brilliant sermon until tomorrow.