Sunday, 14 September 2008

impressions

Muted. Flashily performance. Upscale elite. Not-for-the-masses. Too much background noise. Concert. What on earth happened to spell-check? Distracted. No raw passion. Bad mixing. Flat.

Maybe I have not disengaged enough to go back with a clear mind.

Thought for the day: are you taking offense at the church or on behalf of? And why?

Interestingly, Ps Charles Curtis made this comment on joining and fitting into the church: is God joining you to the church?
And it brings back that point that yes, try as you wish to fit in, if God is joining you in, you will belong and if He is not, you won't. So the question that comes again is this: where do I belong?

Quiet entry, quiet exit.
If only I was not intent on avoidance.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

by the fireplace: faith

Psalm 131:1-3

O LORD, my heart is not lifted up, my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.
O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time on and forevermore.

What faith is this that makes one hope where no hope is humanly possible? What faith is this that makes one hold on to dreams that are rapidly slipping away? And yet while the mind cannot fathom, the heart still believes. Or tries to.

I have been somewhat randomly following the story of Yi-Jien’s disappearance (for want of a better word) through the online news and Karcy’s blog. I don’t know why I care, really. I barely know him. My personal contact with him probably consists of an add on Facebook, and the furthest extent of our contact was through the now-defunct Phases Mailing List. Maybe as Karcy mentioned, “I also don't know why I'm so upset about Yi Jien, to be honest. There are a number of people I know who have passed away. Some are closer to me. I could move on easily. Maybe it's the missing business. Maybe it's the uncertainty of knowing whether God is in charge of all of this, if He's just leading us to false hopes, or if He is real at all.

It’s this absence of closure. I don’t know what it is between me, faith and closure. There’s this constant tension that wants any evidence, even a body, to finalise things. And yet it seems that there are too many people who have had (or said they have had) visions of seeing him alive, that the faith part rises hoping that he comes home alive, to prove yet again that our God is real. But will it really make any difference to me?

Taking it nearer home, there are things that I am hoping, wishing and praying for. At times, I have faith to believe that it’s right, that it’s time, and that God will grant me what I desire. At the same time, I have this niggling worry that I am wanting something that isn’t God’s best – that I am rushing things, or grasping at straws. And yet I don’t know. I’ve placed my heart too far into a situation that I know only time can tell. Still, the promise of His faithfulness is there, and I know through experience that as long as I bide His time, I will emerge unscathed. Maybe not “untouched” in a sense, I know that if it doesn’t come true there will be disappointment and hurt, but not shattered.

Maybe that’s what surrendering to God really is about. Taking your hopes and dreams and putting them on the line with God and telling him, this is what I’m hoping for, but it’s okay if You don’t grant them because I know what You have planned will be way better than this, and then watching as He takes what you’ve given Him and shapes it into what He wants to give you.

So what faith is this that makes one hope where no hope is humanly possible? What faith is this that makes one hold on to dreams that are rapidly slipping away?

The faith that comes from knowing who your God is.