I’ve been doing some thinking again in the last few days, about how I view the bible. I’m sure I have blogged about this before, but once again I’m reminded how much I value people who take trying to understand it seriously. For me, it’s not about coming to the “right” or even the same conclusions, it’s about how we view it that matters. If you have thought and prayed about it that is the important thing to me. Thinking about who it was written for and when it is written, helps to give us a glimpse into the meanings of different parts of the bible. How we treat the bible, says a lot about how we view God. If we take trying to understanding the bible seriously, we take God seriously. We will never understand him, but we can begin to glimpse a little of him. Within the bible we see so many different facets to God. Seeing others come to different conclusions but taking getting their seriously reminds me off the variety of Christians, and makes me look forward to heaven, where we will get to enjoy the variety that comes from these different views but without the mis-understandings that we have now. In the mean time, I will enjoy being reminded of the mystery that is God, and the diversity of his people.
Today has mainly been a day of study, but I also made a cheesecake ready for lunch tomorrow. This was a stressful experience, as it was the first time that I have used gelatine leaves. We shall find out tomorrow how it tastes!
Today a couple of friends came through to visit with their children. The children had a fab time in the swimming pool, where there were flumes and diving boards etc. This gave us time to natter. After lunch we went to the Discovery where the children made friend with a penguin! (We also learnt about the Antarctic).
Fortunately we had planned a minimal walking day, but I was still exhausted at the end of it. It really made me appreciate how much I take things for granted, just being able to do things without really thinking about it.
Today both my flatmate and I are still fairly fed up with being unwell. We had a friends children over, it really brightened up the afternoon. Here is a photo of them making cookies. We also watched a film, and I remember how much children just laugh at what they see as funny and don’t care what others think. We could all learn from not feeling we have to act in a certain way.
I’ve been doing some thinking over the past week, about God and how I view him. I’ve been challenged to think about if I am right about the way I view God, and if not why not. This has been challenging to me, as I’m not sure there is a “right” way to see God. (There are certain fundamentals, which I’m not up for debating, the Nicene Creed is a good reference point for what these things are.) The way that I see it, God is in the centre, and as Christians we are all standing looking at him from slightly different points. Therefore while we are looking at the same God we will see things slightly different, and by sharing we will see more of how amazing, and beyond our understanding God is.
Somebody challenged me about seeing God in black and white this week, which has set me thinking. (I’m sorry if the way I thought about it offends anyone, but if you are here it probably won’t!) When I was a child I used to watch a children’s T.V program called Bagpuss. I loved Bagpuss, and in my brain he was a ginger tom cat, because I only ever watched him in black and white. When as a teenager I first saw him in colour I was freaked out when he turned out to be pink and cream, I won’t to go back to the way I thought he should be, to see him how I was comfortable, and how made sense to what I knew (cats aren’t pink!) Over time I’ve got use to him in colour, and enjoy him that way. It’s a little like my relationship with God, when I was little I saw God in black and white, and when I first started to see him in colour I was scared and confused, wanting to return to where I felt comfortable. As I have got used to seeing God in colour, I have begun to appreciate how much more glorious and amazing he is. I know that he is constantly moving (not changing, just moving so that I see different and new things.) I just struggle with how this means I relate to those who are seeing in black and white.
My friend sent me these beautiful flowers yesterday, so thought they could make it be picture of the day today!
I know that the following rant is partly my own fault for choosing to go to a church that is significantly more conservative than me. Usually it is fine, and I feel that for various reasons it is the right place to be, but today I just got annoyed! Reading the bible through a modern world lens, is not automatically right, and post-modern lens wrong. The bible was written in a pre-modern world, and when looking at it we should remember that and start there, then see how that helps us understand it, whether that is in a modern or postmodern way of thinking. Whenever we look at the bible we automatically place a lens over it, like a colour filter that means that we can see somethings clearly and other things not. These lens are slightly different for all of us, and will be influenced by many factors. We need to remember that we all put these lens on, and that it is only as we except this and share with others what we are seeing that we begin to see more of the picture.
Factual vs Learning? I’ve been thinking about this for a few days. Learning can be seen as “The act, process, or experience of gaining knowledge or skill.” Whereas Factual is just about acquiring facts, knowing the “right” answers. But life isn’t like that, and history certainly isn’t like that, who’s telling the history and who the history is about will be different. For example two people could look at the history of Irish partition, which happened nearly a hundred years ago, but an IRA member would have a very different take to a unionist on the same event. This doesn’t make one right and the other wrong. When we start to become more concerned with the knowledge than the process, is when we can become narrow minded, and miss so many things. (In case anyone was wondering this whole thinking was prompted by iplayer having “learning” for children’s programs, but factual for adult ones.)
This summer I have been here there and everywhere, and have seen more of my family than usual. When I was down South I spent some time with my Grandma, who is 91 and still lives at home, but with Mum doing a lot for her, sometimes to much I think. She really enjoyed the fact I’d let her do what she liked, including a trip to M&S to have a wander around, and eat cake.
I’ve now spent some time with my parents on holiday in the North of Scotland. It’s lovely to see them, but for different reasons they both drive me up the wall. I was also reminded that they are getting older which worries me about the future. Mum (who’s 65), is determined that she is old and everything is a problem. I dread to think about the future with her, as there is to a certain extent in my family and expectation that daughters will look after there parents when they get old. Dad (who’s 70) on the other hand, I was aware was getting older, as he is getting slightly slower and has more aches and pains, which he is refusing to tell Mum about, and only told me about because I was trying to walk to fast. I was aware of how far away from they live, and also how personality clashes, would make it difficult for me to be of any use anyway. It’s more a nag at the back of my brain, and hopefully it won’t be come a real issue for a few years yet.
For the last few years in about the middle of July I have done a round up of things from the previous year that I am glad I have done/ experienced. (Here is last years). It started as a sort of bucket list in reverse, instead of things I want to do but hadn’t yet done, a sort of way to celebrate those random things I had done. This year I have been putting off writing my list, partly due to the lack of internet, but partly as I wasn’t sure what to write on it. As some of you will know I moved just under a year ago to do some more study. I’ve not really settled where I now live, and don’t really like the academic side of the course, but the placements have reminded me that I am doing the right thing. Anyway here goes a maybe shorter list than some years.
1) Watching 16 year old (who is autistic) in his school play, I first met him when he was 10 days old.
2) Finally making it to St Andrews
3) Ship meet
4) Going over the Forth Rail Bridge
5) last year and this years Tour de France, and this year having the time to watch lots of the live coverage.
6) some amazing friends
7) passed the first year of my course
8) Christmas day, which was for once chilled out, and my Grandma and I wanted to do the same thing, (Knit and watch Holiday Inn
9) Re-discovering my love of cycling
Without doubt however the best thing about this year has been my flatmates. I have shared with two other girls and we have got on really well although we didn’t know each other in advance. I am very sad that one of them has today moved away (because of work), but am pleased that the other one and I have moved to a new flat this week.
I’m staying with friends at the moment who have small children. There three year old daughter has got new lego which has both pink and purple bricks. I commented about this and another friend, moaned about the world being obsessed with making little girls into “pink princesses”. While I share this complaint, why is there so much obsession at the moment with pink and blue. being for girls and boys. The way I see it, having pink lego bricks, is saying you can be “girly” in a non traditional girl area. Maybe it helps us to remember that we don’t have to conform to the stero-types, we can twist them on there head, in this case by being girly but not being girly. Maybe in life we need to remember to subvert the status quo and say no we don’t have to conform to the boxes that others want us to be in, we can embrace stero-types when they are true of us, but go our own way at other times.
What is family? Is it about blood ties or is it about something else? Is it about caring about others, about somehow belonging, just because you do, not because you have to? About knowing that if you had a problem you could just call, or turn up, and they would be there for you? But maybe it’s also about the bigger picture, about how our lives interweave, how we’re part of the bigger picture in their lives. This week I had a birthday, I received 3 cards addressed to Auntie, even though I don’t have biological nieces or nephews. I also received 3 cards from friend’s parents. It’s nice to feel you belong in lots of places, just because……not because you have to.