This was in fact the third time recently I've seen someone who I haven't seen for that long. It makes me feel rather ancient that there can be ANYONE I haven't seen in that long a time. TEN YEARS!!! I mean it's FOREVER! I must have reached that age where such things are trully possible.
There is a silver lining to this ageing cloud though. Mike said "Goodness, you haven't changed a bit!" and that was also the reaction of Jane (who I was at school with and saw on Sunday!) and Steve (who I was on a youth committee with as a teen and met at Greenbelt).
It's rather gratifying to think that I haven't aged much and that people can't believe I'm 30 and yet it does rather make me wonder JUST how OLD I looked when I was younger!!!
Interestingly Mike had been hearing that morning at his conference about time and relativity and I think we both had real difficulty believing so MUCH time had passed since we last chatted over a glass of wine.
Part of me thinks I have changed a lot from the forthright sixthformer he knew but in fact I have in so many ways become the person I was and am and will be. In growing I seem to become more consolidated as myself. In changing I seem to reinforce the stability of my character.
le plus ca change le plus c'est le meme chose
This is rather reassuring to me as I've been facing a lot of self-evaluation recently as a result of all kinds of things which have happened this summer (some of which I've blogged about, some of which I've not, to be honest!) about where I am, where my spirituaity is, what my concept of church is, what my calling is, what my natural style of worship is. I'd been feeling that many of these have changed because of a broadening experience and yet in so many ways it has consolidated my eclecticism (if that is possible and not too oxymoronic!)
While I'm busy pondering what God has planned for me in the coming days, weeks, months and years, I realise God has been nudging me gently towards things anyway! Instead of looking for the WRITING ON THE WALL or some thunderbolt, I simply need to listen to what is going on inside and what is going on around me and most importantly to wait patiently on the Lord.
Reminds me of one of my ALL TIME FAVOURITE bits of Shakespeare from Hamlet:
If it be now, 'tis not to come.
If it be not to come, it will be now.
If it be not now, yet it will come.
THE READINESS IS ALL