Thriving?

We’re going through a difficult time at the moment – I won’t go into it but suffice is to say one outcome could be pretty crap.

A deep fault of mine is that I allow worry to wrap itself round my heart and squeeze ever so painfully. So much so I find it hard to pray. If you know me you probably wouldn’t realise – as I just ‘carry on’. I think it’s something I inherited from my mum – just ‘get on with it’. Crying about it isn’t going to make it any better…

I had to leave for work super early this morning. There’s something about silly’o’clock – like no one’s touched the day yet. It’s clean.

I’d grabbed some AVON brochures on my way out the door to post along a nearby road. I crossed paths with a man doing a paper round from his Ford Escort…remember when it used to be a young teenager on a bike?

I found myself dwelling on what’s hurting me most – and asked God where he was in all of it. Over the last few days I’ve felt a numbness that I’ve wondered is the vacuous absence of God.

So much so this morning that I asked:

“Do you love me Lord? Do you really Love me?”

After posting the last AVON brochure, unusually, I’d put on my headphones as I walked to the train station. I wanted to listen to a Christian music playlist – if I can’t pray, this is the next best way to talk to God, right?

A band came on and then as I turned into I side street my playlist jumped to the next song.

“How he Loves us..” – Cory Asbury.

‘Odd’, I thought.

I got to the station platform and phrase from the bible came to mind; Paul in Corinthians saying:

“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh..” – 2 Corinthians 12:7

I realise that there are so many others a lot worse off than me: financially, health wise…but I wonder why it feels like I’m herding kittens? Am I thriving? Am I doing what God’s really planned for me?

Paul talks about overcoming the ‘thorn in his side’ – and uses the analogy to stay grounded in Christ. If I struggle to pray in the worst times, how will I ever feel ‘connected’?

I actually feel like i’ve only just got my head above the water, and I can see the next wave coming. It will engulf me…

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Hello Ash Wednesday

Excuse the reflective mood. Lent starts today, so it’s got me thinking a bit more about others.

I stumbled across this while flicking through Pinterest this morning:

Isaiah 58-10Very much the theme for my life at the moment, my new job working for ASLAN, putting pen to paper again (ok, tapping on keys) with HJ – it seems a lot is being shuffled into perspective!

What’s wonderful about Lent is that it crosses religion, and even cultures. Ask most people in the street, and they will know that it’s a time when you have to ‘give something up’. But what if you turn it on it’s head and, instead of giving something up, make it a time when you DO something you wouldn’t normally do?

I’ve been openly confronted by some who ask ‘why should I give something up?’ Well, if you don’t want to, don’t! But…you’re missing the point…

The main reasons Christians ‘do’ Lent is to reflect on the time Jesus spent 40 days and nights alone in the desert. It’s the time leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion and subsequent resurrection (Easter) when he gave up food and companionship to pray and be closer to God, his father.

At the heart of Christianity is a hope that we’d help and love the needy, the hungry and the lonely. Sometimes that’s really hard to do. Especially when your initial kindness is rejected or ridiculed by others.

Video: Moved to write by Marcken