Who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light...
Going back to school in your old age is the weirdest thing. I haven't had to be so disciplined in years & years because no matter how much I have to fit into a day each one still only has 24 hours in it! And life does not simply stop to accomodate me.
So I get up in the morning, put on the coffee, switch on the computer so I can do Dearest's bookwork while I have my coffee & scroll through blogs, then I make lunches, get dressed, grab my bag & walk out the door. Forget having a quiet time like Dino. Dino gets his because he isn't doing any of the rest of it. Just the same he does the driving. Forty~five minutes, or more, in peak hour traffic. Ick. I can't read in the car so no bible reading, but I can pray & do. It can be a little hairy, what with Dino's driving & all but beggers can hardly be choosers.
Anyway I often get a lovely meditative time & I was thinking recently just how unpredictable life can be ~ especially the God~life.
I was raised Anglican & my mother ensured we were in church every single Sunday with rare exceptions. Being the peculiar child I undoubtedly was I quite liked church ~ especially when I was very little & we were still in the old wooden church with it's narrow stained glass windows & high ceilings before the powers that be meddled with the prayer book & destroyed the beauty therein. I liked the liturgy. In its original format it is downright beautiful! I do not like what the Anglican church has done to it ~ but no~one asked me! I did not like the building that replaced the little wooden church. Convienient, yes. Seated miles more people, yes. Modern & ugly ~YES! Seriously, it looked like the Pizza Hut gone wrong. I was going to link you so you could all go Eeeew! but I see the present administration has had the good sense not to put any pictures up anywhere I can find!
I hated Sunday school ~ & as I got older I particularly hated the youth groups & young adult thing. My brothers got right into it but it drove me crazier than crazy & for quite a long while I tried to convince myself I was an athiest but athiests always seemed to be so angry at everything & everybody & rude to boot [maybe you know some nice ones; I wasn't so lucky] & I decided they didn't live in a very nice world. I'm not big on the reality thing, remember. Frankly I figured God was probably as bored in church as I was ~ & I was very bored. I don't do well with bored. Ask my kids.
The thing was no~one really seemed to take God very seriously. I heard that His word wasn't to be taken literally. It was figurative or metaphorical or other big English words that made me scratch my head because if God had gone to all that trouble to write a book [no easy task I know from sad experience] then surely it was more than a giant metaphore that I could cut & paste as I chose. Besides, even the most cursory perusal of said book had some rather interesting anomalies: the author called Himself The Living God. Not dead. Alive. He spoke of making His home with believers & of embuing them with power.
I can be pretty literal & I took that absolutely literally.
I had no idea how it worked. Nor, so far as I could tell, did any one else!
Eventually I twigged that I wasn't cut out to be an aethiest. Not even a good agnostic. No avid fantasy reader is. We are fine wired to the unbelievable.
So I began looking for myself at what other believers had experienced, the roads they had travelled, what they believed & why with a complete lack of discrimination because I knew nothing & being a lit major I usually chose my reading material on the basis of how readable I found it! Too sad making I know.
This long rambling post does have a point because God is faithful. I may have gone a long circuitous route & I am sure there are easier ways to reach this destination but when my frustration hit the wall & I had run out of my own steam I found God waiting patiently to show me how to learn of Him, Himself. The cry of my heart was to know God & be known. I was never going to be satisfied with pure doctrine because if God is a living God ~ & He says He is ~ then everything the bible speaks of is true because God does not change. If everything is true then not only can I speak to God I can expect Him to speak to me! If He has made promises I can claim them because God does not lie & what He says He will do He will do!
Slowly, slowly, slowly I became a peculiar sort of Christian: I believed absolutely, & to some extent practised, the charismatic gifts ~ but I never belonged to a Charismatic church. Or a Pentecostal church. Or an Apostolic church. I learnt prayer is as much about listening as it is about talking. Oh, how hard it is to just shut up & let God get a word in edgeways! The Holy Spirit became a living reality in my life. I should listen to Him better but even when I don't I know He's there! And I am grateful, incredibly, incredibly grateful for the books that God has lobbed my way because I have always found it easier to learn from books than from people. They shed light on a path that was littered with the debris of fallen artifices until I knew, beyond all possibility of doubt, that my God lives! I know because He lives with me, & in me. He chats with me [in the cool of the evening. How I have always loved that image!] I know He loves me. He is the only person in my life who calls me, Dear Heart. It makes me feel all warm & gooey inside.
And the best bit? It's not over! It will never be over because we have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. Ephesians 3:18 Nothing can separate us from His love. It will just get better & better.