Thank you God…
That you’re there helping me to say ‘no’ to the things I need to say no to.
Thank you God…
For libraries. When the surrounds of my room with its souvenirs, memoirs and shelves full of books that I can’t bear to get rid of lure me back to that cushy, imaginary, godless world which I built in my teens on nostaliga and broken dreams, I’m just so thankful that you provide libraries. I’m thankful that you’ve provided an alternative to that room, where nearly every other object I touch is an invitation to haunt and distort my own memories like a poltergeist. Thank you for these clear, functional, public spaces; ‘neutral’ worlds where nothing, neither the furniture, nor the books, nor the décor, nor the ambient aroma of the building, can serve as a cognitive hook onto my old, futile longings for the never-materialised past wants that were absorbed into my pillow, my bed, my books, my bedroom floor. No, the library is far removed from these ambiental triggers. These are houses of ‘otherness’ and unfamiliarity, where every object is a blank slate, an artefact without any history that could lock me back inside the dream-world that I haunt. In the library, hand-in-hand with you, I can try and pave a way for myself in your far less saccharine world of the real, the concrete and the social, which you intended me to inhabit. My brave new world is Planet Earth, which you made for me to live in with you. Though more savage, more prickly and more raw, the world of the Cross is a more beautiful place to be.
Thank you God…
That you gave me a job to go to tomorrow. After so long unemployed, it is such a privilege to be able to say that I do the humblest of things, even if only part-time. Please bless my work, and let my co-workers witness you through me.
It is wonderful when God shows us the gravity of our sins and prompts us to repent. Especially when it’s because we have prayed and asked that he might do so. Today God answered a specific prayer of mine, and I wanted to shout his mercy and kindness from the rooftops. But I’ve settled with my WordPress blog for now.
There is a sin which I often commit and find it difficult to feel remorseful about. My heart had become hardened to that sin, and I knew that I needed to repent; not just to say “I’m sorry, Lord,” and then carry on with my life as before, but to actually mean it and subsequently feel repulsed by that sin. I prayed over it, and now a week or so later, God has answered in the form of a dream which showed me how heinous the least part of that sin was. It was a vivid, heart-sinking dream; I awoke from it feeling shaken, and what stayed with me afterwards was the image of the face of the person whom I had wronged. I remember now that a friend of mine had a similar experience about a year ago when someone had prayed for her without her knowing. When she told me about her dream, I told her what had been prayed for her, and we knew that the Lord had answered that prayer.
You might call it coincidence, but I believe that the Sovereign Lord who calls all things into being and orders all things, ordered that I should dream that dream last night, just as he would order me to dream any dream any night. The Lord willed that I should pray, and that it was through the dream that God gave the prayer its answer. Praise be to God for prompting, rebuking and providing new reasons to rejoice in him! His mercies are new every morning.
When I set my mind on God, I always have a feeling that I am tapping into something vast and ancient; something far more complex than my perceptions can grasp. I can just sense it as I do it – and I feel almost a sense of vertigo as I become suddenly aware of how small I am. When I open my mind to God’s spirit, I get a sense of myself as being peripheral to the world, as being subject to God, rather than the world and God being subject to me. It’s not a thing that I decide to do; it comes automatically. Every time I really open my mind to the Holy Spirit, I see the axis on which the world functions as being outside of myself; I see God as ‘universe central’, and not myself. Since my own perception of the world is unique and is centralised within my mind, it should seem that the whole world spills out from my mind, and as such, that my mind is the origin of it. It does, when I do not let God into my mind. But when I do invite the Holy Spirit, I no longer see the world as a product of my perceptions. I see myself as being a product of the world; I see myself as an object working within it. I feel this deep-seated conviction that the world is not subject to my perception of it, but that I am subject to the perception of another — God.