Getting Back to Life

(First published on my Facebook Notes on 19 July 2017)
I’m not exactly certain why I need to put this on the public sphere, but my hope in throwing this into this space already inundated with thousands of other stuff (hopefully your timeline) is of this sort – a hope at getting back to life. Life – whatever it is going to look like. Life, which for the first time in a long time, looks foggy and unconquerable.

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Are you a true worshipper?

I’m a hopeless romantic when it comes God. How would I describe my relationship with God? Or how I relate to him and how I see myself with Him?

Here’s an old and old-fashioned mushy song:

“I just want to be where You are dwelling daily in Your presence. I don’t want to worship from afar, draw me near to where You are.”

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Thankful for…

The gentle, peaceful soul who invades my days with gentleness and peace.

The rich bustle of voices who hear each other and me, a weekly table of joyful, faithful communion.

The little storm of anxiety that brews at every wind of bad news, building up in intensity when devising solutions and resting only when the problems have gone away.

My quiet and still haven, broken only by voices I wish to hear, by thoughts I count as precious, more precious than gold.

a perplexing question

A perplexing question took me off guard today in my waking hours. 

“Now that you have known and experienced God’s love (and I have, over and over again), how have you experienced loving God? How do you love God?”

It was a devotion based on John 14:21-26, on an app called Pray as you Go.

How do I love God. I rummaged through my recent life, my collection of behaviours and attitudes, almost frantically, like a treasure hunt. Which one? You must remember I just woke up not long. I searched that sack of days and events of the past week, yanked around for patterns of loving God.

Wait, to love God is to obey His commands. Have I been obeying His commands? Not the broad-based overarching principle ones (like loving neighbour too), but in the specific ways He has led me and continues to lead me. Is my life one of obedience, or performance?

Not just that. How am I experiencing loving God? Am I basking, delighting and revelling in this mutual exchange of love? Or is it a job with a to-do list. Is it a life-giving friendship, or does it resemble more of a business meeting?

Damm this question is good.

Love can save even the darkest souls

Love can save even the darkest souls.
– Snow, Ep 14 Season 6, Once Upon a Time

It’s episodes like these that I know why I watch Once Upon a Time. It reinforces and nails this repeated lesson into my heart. This, that love transforms us, it makes us new, makes us more fully ourselves. It doesn’t let us go scot free when we have messed up, letting us go our own way again the moment it meets us. It doesn’t leave us when we fail, and come back when we are fine. Love is very much in our dark nights as He is in our days. Love sits with us, and dines with us, and we with Him, if we lets Him. And He changes us, with love, in time. And that this is the resurrected (or as Elevation Worship aptly puts it, “resurrecting“) life. God is resurrecting us. Love itself, Grace itself, resurrects us.

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Christianity is much more about living and doing than thinking. As Thomas Aquinas, no Catholic lightweight, put it, Prius vita quam doctrina (“Life is prior to doctrines”).

Perfect spirituality is just to imitate God.

Excerpt From: “Immortal Diamond: The search for our true self” by Richard Rohr. Scribd.

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Importance of community in our modern times

The first rule of life in modernity does seem to be ‘everyone for themselves’. When a choice has to be made between these values, modernity most commonly sacrifices the old ties of kinship and social cohesion (family, ethnic group, village, social group, even nation) to the advancement of the individual’s private life.

Christian Comeliau*, 2000 (The Impasse of Modernity; Zed Books)

It is one thing to discuss development and progress, and another thing to wonder why we need it. Development and modernisation is so embedded into our psyche that we run headlong in its currents, like a car-race computer game, dodging obstacles and collecting coins and level-ups while going full speed forward, without looking at the whole picture as itself, playing it over and over again to master it to the end. It’s just the way things are, so learn up the rules and play the game – the one with most spoils wins at the Hall of Fame.

Such are games and such is life in the modern world.

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