Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Confusion: A poem

Lying awake at night,
Doubts a-lingering,
Was that decision right,
Fears a-strengthening.
Was that decision right?

The wood of this life,
Dark and enclosing,
Full of wonder and strife,
Which path am I taking?
Full of wonder and strife.

As one who is blind,
This path I must tread,
Knowing not what I’ll find
The next step ahead.
Knowing not what I’ll find.

How long to decide,
Which way to go,
I’ll take the next stride
And trust, you know.
I’ll take the next stride.

Was that decision right,
Full of wonder and strife.
Knowing not what I’ll find
I’ll take the next stride.
Knowing not what I’ll find!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

The week gone

What a week! How can so much life be fitted in to such a short space of time? For those of you who don’t know, last week was the missions week at our university. A week when the Christian Union puts on loads of events with the sole purpose of evangelism, of telling people about Christ in as many ways and settings as possible.

The week was entitled ‘Free Week’, and all of the events were of course free. We served free tea and coffee daily, had a free lunch with a themed talk each day and each evening there was a free event, where either a testimony was shared or a short talk given. The evening events were diverse and the aim was to create a ‘chilled’ and welcoming atmosphere, we had a ceilidh (a barn dance), a pub quiz, a comedian, a classic games show event as well as our usual weekly meeting.

The week went really well, and it was a great encouragement to see how many people turned up to the events and had the opportunity to hear the Gospel. The questions that people asked were good and hopefully many of them will come along to Christianity Explored, which is a follow up course that is being run, looking deeper at what the Bible actually says. Another great thing about the week was the people from the CU who were running and helping out with the events. It is good to see people serve one another and I believe that through out this past week I have seen them grow in the love of Christ and a tighter knit community begin to form.

However when looking back on such a week, it is important to consider where improvements can be made as well as what went well, to learn from mistakes as well as successes. One thing that we learnt from this week is the importance of knowing the people who will be speaking at the events, even when they are last minute replacements. In certain circumstances it might be better to cancel an event entirely rather than having someone inappropriate talk.

On a lighter note, we also learnt that Black Wednesday (so called for the tiredness prevalent and the fact that the end of the week seems far off) may not fall on a Wednesday. This year there seemed to be plenty of energy on the Wednesday; it was on the Thursday that people’s energies waned. I mention this because it is worth remembering that at some point people will get tired in such an endeavour and will need encouragement to keep going, but it was also noted that it seemed to be when we were most tired that God gave us the most opportunities.

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” 1Cor 1:27-29

It is important to remember that we must continue to rely on God and not our own strength which is bound to fail. So that in all we do God’s name would be glorified and not our own.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

A Pessimistic Christian?

This morning at church we were looking at developing as a Christian. At a list of characteristics that we should seek to grow in as we continue our walk with Christ.

“make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.”
2 Peter 1:5b-7

However I believe that this list is not exhaustive. I think that we can find other traits which we should seek after, and ones we should try and banish from our lives. In this post I shall be looking briefly at pessimism, is it a trait that we should desire, one to be avoided or simply one that has no bearing on the working out of our faith?

The last part of this question is perhaps the simplest to consider. Every character trait has an impact on who we are, are we generally happy or melancholy, loving or hateful, introverted or outward looking. Every part of our character determines what we are most likely to do in any given situation. An extravert may be uncomfortable in a room on his own and get up and seek out company, whilst an introvert is much more likely to remain where they are. Thus every single facet of our personality will effect how we perceive the world and live our lives. To live our lives for Christ means that every aspect of them must be brought before his throne with willingness to be changed in order to be more like him.

What does a pessimistic view of the world really imply? A pessimist generally sees the worst in any situation, saying that their endeavours are bound to fail, that no matter how promising something looks at the moment it’s bound to go wrong in the end. There are two things that I think are wrong with this view of the world. Primarily a pessimistic Christian can not truly believe in an all powerful God who loves them. To see every task as a failure before it is even failed denies God’s power and love, after all we are told to “bring everything before him in prayer and petition”. What is the point of prayer, if God does not listen? If you deem your task a failure do you demand that God gives up on it too? Is there no expectation of intervention?

Secondly, we are told to live for this day. Not “to worry about tomorrow”, by saying ‘this task will fail’ in the heart, is one not really saying ‘I know what tomorrow will bring and that will be failure’? Even Christ did not know the date of his second coming, how are we then to know what will happen tomorrow?

To summarise: pessimism is liable to lead to a belief that only I have an impact on my life, both its successes and failures and to worry about the future rather than living in the present. I hope that I have managed to convey what I believe about the necessity to deny the pessimistic cravings within all of us with out causing any offence. If that is not the case than please accept my heart felt apologies.