Apologies for the mega-blogging followed by a lull. In fact it is goodnews as I have been directing my literary endeavours towards the novel again. Tonight I topped 12,000 words. Hurrah! More than my BA thesis, nearly up to my MA thesis though decidedly less than the PhD but hopefully much more likely to get published than any of those!
I had a real time of personality dichotomy over the last few days. A great evening at SAOMC looking at the letter to the Hebrews and 1 Peter on Tuesday night and then a school visit of 90 children from year one on Wednesday morning. Both fabulous, challenging and fulfilling in their own ways.
I had a fabulous time with children asking all kinds of questions about church and the things we have in a church and what we do and who does what and what is that for and how long does that take and how old is that. You really can't help but be enthused by the overwhelming enthusiasm of children. Its their incredible honesty of response. They LOVED the church and were totally bubbling over with questions. If they hadn't liked the place, it would have been obvius by their disengagement but so clearly that wasnot the case. It really does make you understand why Jesus said we needed to become as little children to enter the kingdom.
In contrast, at SAOMC I had a splendid stroll and chat with Jo and then a stimulating discussion about the varying perceptions of the Kingdom of God in the Epistles [Did they consider the Kingdom had arrived or were they working towards it?] with a deeply insightful contribution from William on Paul's "through a glass darkly". He argued that it is not as simple as to say that the glass in now dark but one day it won't be. In journeying to faith and in deepening our relationship with God we see through the glass less and less darkly and when the time comes that we know God fully it will be all light. Wow! Just wish I could have been as adept at explaining my point about endurance.
We were talking about Hebrews and its take on suffering. The text seems to imply that there's a beneficial nature to suffering in terms of spiritual development (not really meritorious as such but evidently not all bad) and Alan was rather doubting the validity of that proposition. I, somewhat ineptly, endeavoured to suggest that it was much like John Cassian's reflection that self-discipline of thoughts and routine brings a spiritual freedom. I didn't argue the case well enough as people thought that couldn't apply to involuntary discomfort. However I would firmly disagree. It goes back to that great line of Viktor Frankel. The greatest freedom is to choose one's own attitude. Whether one is suffering due to persecution or as a result of imposing self determined discipline, it is the attitude that one takes to it which can make all the difference to oneself and to those who witness one's attitude.
So deep theological thinking one evening and overwhelming youthful exuberance the next morning and I loved them both. Can life really get better than this? Well in fact it can as I came home to a marvelloously tidied house! No I don't have a fleet of house elves just a fantastic housemate. :oD