“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 18:3
In the midst of the whirlwind of life, I am trying desperately to be as organised as I can. That’s not easy when I have not been able to settle properly for a long time now, and with yet another move on the horizon. A move forward, but a move nonetheless.
Above my little ‘desk’ – the attempt at creating a structured work place separate from my place of rest (although the two often intermingle, with my bed becoming the place of chill-out-work-out-burn-out) – I have hung my Little List 2014, to remind me of where I am headed and to help me focus on what is important. But part of this journey is taking me back to when I was a child and didn’t understand the difference between the dreariness of a day and the heights of my own little world; mainly because I was only ever in the latter.
Sitting here, on my island of feeble attempts at making something of my life, I can look back and say there have been many, many dreary, dark, damp days. They have been lonely, they have been days of feeling lost and forgotten. But perhaps it was on those days that I myself had forgotten. Forgotten to dream, and to strive, and to aim once again for things that, although in reality might seem way too high to reach for, were in fact, in my mind, worthy things to strive for.
February’s resolution more than ever takes me back to a time when I was always reading. I look back fondly to the times when I just could not put that book down, and to my parent’s frustration when I would stay up all night – usually reading an Enid Blyton book, or Arthur Ransome, delving into mystery and adventure – only to wake up the next day tired and grumpy. Yet my mind would be filled with the story I had just been engulfed by. It would spur my imagination, inspire my play, and lead me to create my own stories.
I don’t know when I lost that passion. Maybe it was when I realised that I could not read children’s books anymore for fear of missing what is deemed important for my age group. Or perhaps it was when I grew to become concerned about what I believed, and lost the desire to seek fantasy. Reality often seems more important, ethics is a never-ending story in our modern world.
But reality can be cruel, cold and confusing. And people’s opinions don’t necessarily reflect reality. They just show what a complicated world we live in, and how our own individual ambitions are often placed above those of others and their suffering. Perhaps, with each acclaimed perfect solution to many a problem that exists out there, I became disillusioned. Too much conflict, too much power, money and greed.
As Easter draws nearer, and January’s resolution has passed (but not ended!), I am reflecting more and more on my own faith. I have a deep desire to draw closer to God in my thoughts, my actions, my words – in everything. I can once again find joy in knowing that God created this world to be explored, and me to be the explorer. He created minds to invent and describe, to guide and to lead. He created problems to be solved, emotions that run parallel to every walk of our lives.
My role is not to understand, but to seek understanding. It is not to judge, but to strive for justice. And how can I live freely without fighting for other’s freedom too? Books are not there to dictate us, they are there to connect with us, to educate us, to inspire and empower us, and to help us remember what we have set out to do. They lift us above those dreary days, and set us in a place where we can achieve anything we want to. It’s just a turn of a page away.
Books I have read (or am still reading) so far this year:
- Wild at Heart (John Eldredge)
- Searching Issues (Nicky Gumbel)
- The Bible Jesus read (Philip Yancey)
Books on my to-read list:
- Miracles (C.S.Lewis)
- The Case for Faith (Lee Strobel)
- The Pilgrim’s Progress (John Bunyan)
- All the books I haven’t read yet on this list