Thursday, 17 June 2010

Just when I could do with looking more holy...

There are days - well whole great big long life-sized periods of time - in my life when I wish I could just be a tad more holy. Times when I wish I hadn't sung the songs at church where I said with such enthusiasm 'You give and take away, my heart will choose to say blessed be Your Name'. Today was one of those days when, if I'm honest, I felt like I couldn't be bothered to say 'thank you God'.. mainly because it would have been through gritted teeth. 'Thank you God that I'm at work when I would rather be on holiday'. 'Thank you God that I need to pay the car tax this month when I would much rather spend money on other things'. 'Thank you God that I have been given even more work to do and would rather nick off early and have an ice cream in the park'. 'Thank you God that You have called me to show your grace to everyone even when it's THAT time of the month and, quite frankly, the world is annoying me simply by breathing'. The more pious of you could certainly remind me that I should be grateful that I have a job, a car, friends and colleagues to be around - and of course, there is a very small rational area of my brain that knows this. But because I am human, I have a tendency to take all of these things for granted, and want much more on top of them. I want a job where I get to do only the tasks that I like and not have to do things that make me feel uncomfortable like presenting project plans, just in case someone challenges my ideas and shows up what an idiot I am. I want a car where I don't have to spend lots of money running it, and which I can park for free in town so I can get up late rather than get the subway. I want people around me to constantly think I'm fab, to send me wee notes of encouragement or thanks for the job I've done, or nominate me for awards so that I can get lots of public recognition and then come over all shy and humble.

And then, when I read all of that, I want one more thing. To delete it all. To not accept that there's a challenge in all of it. To run away from the possibility that just maybe someone will read this, and ask me, 'so how's it going, have you talked to God about these things?' Because if I'm not careful, the answer will be 'no'. I didn't want to receive answers so I didn't ask. I hoped that if I didn't knock on the door there was no real danger of it opening. I hoped that if I didn't go looking for God, He wouldn't come looking for me. But, like in all great pantomines (and I'm definitely a fan of the genre), He's behind me. Watching me type. And, when I get into this reflective moment, I find there is something that I want to knoweven more than all of these worldly things. What does He think about me. About my wants. About my frustrations. About my internal desires to verbally slap some of the people I come across in my daily life. About the desires I have, good and bad, that I don't tell anyone else about. About the things that almost make me cry, they fill me with that much desperation and sadness. About the things that I wish other people cared more about, so I wouldn't have to feel embarrassed about my own passion for them.

Right now, I know I don't care about being holy. I just want to know God. I want to understand why people call him 'Father' God, like He's a daddy. So I'm going to ask Him.

Sunday, 6 June 2010


I've been on holiday for the past week - utter bliss. A whole week of living what almost feels like a completely different life, with no daily job to define the start and end of my waking hours. The change has been good, it's felt longer than it really was, and I've been glad for that. It's been a time of changes, and overall it's left me refreshed and hopeful.

The biggest of these changes has been my leaving the Glasgow Chamber Choir. Two years of mayhem and now the time has come to an end. There were a couple of reasons for going, mainly around what I think I am both capable of and wanting to do musically right now. But besides all that, I'm going to miss that bunch of nutters (I mean that in the nicest possible way.... they made me feel at home)! Someone who joined us at a meal out tonight commented on how friendly we all were, how well we get on. And it's so, so true - when you looked round the room, there's such a mixed bunch of people.... a retired lawyer, a lecturer in Theology, a climbing instructor, a wedding music planner, mothers and fathers, a sound engineer, students, finance specialists, music teachers, and many more besides. A whole bunch of people who perhaps would not normally cross each other's paths in everyday life, but because of the choir are good friends, united for their passion for music... and admittedly, for many, their passion for wine.... apparently the two go hand-in-hand??! (Yeah, music in one hand, glass in the other... nuff said, methinks)! And my life is blessed, totally enriched, by having known them. When I think of each one of them, I cannot help but consider how truly incredible the human race is. Every person is unique, and comes with gifts, abilities, thoughts and inspirations that are all their own - and when they share them with the rest of us, we so often become better people as a result. Don't get me wrong, I am fully aware of the darker sides of this world - but I choose to see the good, because it is SO good! Most people who know me will know I'm a Christian - and watching people gives me so much evidence towards a Creator-God. Look at us - we're amazing! Nevermind the phenomenal intricacies of the human body, just listen to human conversation, look at the creative arts, painting and music, watch someone think their way through a difficult situation and come to a great solution - it's awesome stuff, enough to make you giddy with the possibilities for our futures.

Because of all of this, I can't wait to go to work tomorrow - not just because I love my job (and I know what a gift it is to be able to say that, truly I do) but because I will meet so many fantastic people, some who I know already, and maybe some who I will meet for the first time. And they will be awesome, wonderful, gifted people, and I will be blessed for meeting them. Amazing!