I’m not usually one for making new years resolutions. I am of the general opinion that if I’m going to make a change I might as well make it here and now instead of waiting for January 1st! I’m also of the opinion that if I set out a list of “things to do” over the next year, I will invariably either fail to do them, or simply forget I made the list in the first place.
Nevertheless, after a very pleasant week in Nottingham with my family (including three and a bit day trips to see extended family), I have returned to Leicester inspired to take up again a couple of activities which I have neglected for a long time.
- Reading fiction
- Spending time with people
I managed to plough through the harrowing but excellent We need to talk about Kevin during the break and have been reminded just how much I enjoy reading. It’s not like I haven’t done much reading this year, what with all my Relay study material, but I haven’t finished off a fiction book for a very long time.
I can’t say I did masses of exercise during the break, but I was up and about doing stuff some days, and the difference between that and staying in the house all day was surprisingly noticeable. It’s really no wonder I have trouble with my sleeping patterns when I do sometimes just sit in my house drinking tea for an entire day.
The best thing by far about the Christmas holiday though is that I had a chance to see my family (lots of them!) and just hang out. I really enjoyed the numerous games of scrabble we played, and the chance to catch up on what people had been up to since I last saw them. I do sometimes fail to do the whole quality time thing with my friends, and it really isn’t difficult, especially when I don’t spend all my free time sitting in front of a computer (yes, I know, irony has just slapped me in the face).
I spend a lot of time absorbing media from the world around me, mostly in the form of TV, music and computer games. I was really struck by some stuff Mark Driscoll said during his talk on being a missional Church which has really changed the way I do that absorbing.
Ever since the conference I have been finding myself asking questions about what I watch/listen to/play. Questions like “what world has this artist painted?”, “why does this situation appeal to me?”, “what is wrong with this world view?”. Essentially I have found myself picking apart the world view that the media is trying to put across, and frankly it’s fascinating!
I found a new depth to the episode of Star Trek where the crew find a paradise world which seems to have no unlawfullness, only to discover that the reason for this was that the punishment for even the smallest crime was immediate death. This utopia is of course flawed because it relies on the assumption that people are actually capable of being good with the correct motivation. It does however imply that the law makers managed to convince the society as a whole at some stage that death was an appropriate punishment for all crime, not something I can really imagine happening but at least some people will entertain the idea!
A while back I had a spurt of writing reviews of various things (mostly movies and beer), I might get back into the habit with a slightly different approach and aim in mind.
I asked God on the way: “PLEASE don’t let me say something stupid. PLEASE don’t let me be done with this conversation, and think ‘I shoulda said’ or ‘Why did I say THAT?’ PLEASE have mercy on me, and him. I don’t know this guy, and I don’t know what I’m doing.”
One more thing, I said: “And if I’m wrong, about anything, I want to know. I honestly do. I’m convinced on this, but if I’m shown otherwise, I will change my thinking on this. I want you to know that.”
I just read this wonderful blog post by some guy I don’t know (isn’t the internet great!) and I can honestly say I have been humbled.
He talks about an encounter he had with a gay Christian guy and his attitude is frankly awe inspiring. All I can really say is that if I am ever in a similar situation I hope I can be humble enough to pray the prayer he prayed and speak with the same heart for God as he clearly has.
As a sort of side note, this is I think the way we should deal with every kind of sin, not just the ones the Church happens to make a fuss about today.