Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Alone or together?

This afternoon I took a late lunch break and a walk.

It’s cold here at the moment … though the term “cold” is a relative kind of one. A friend in Norway told me that it was –15 degrees C there … making here seem quite warm.

Every so often when I’m walking I wonder about things. In a kind of random way, I guess.

I still kind of struggle with the concept of God. Some of the thoughts …

What’s the point of life? Where does it come from? Does it go anywhere?

How come Paul the apostle got to have a visit from Jesus on the Damascus road whilst most people have a whole lot less evidence to base eternity upon?

How could God be aware of everyone … everywhere … all at the same time … and be interested in them?

Last night I took a look at the King James Version website guest book to see what was new there.

People concerned about the possibility of losing their salvation. Of weather a lady is allowed to wear pants. Not a million miles away from me wondering if a guy is allowed to wear lipstick and a skirt.

These are all pretty basic questions that I used to have answers to. Kind of.

I have answers to less of them now. And the answers to some are different than they used to be.

Tonight when I got home my daughter Katie broke the news that the son of a friend had been found dead today. Sally was out at the boy’s grandmothers. No one knows details of the cause yet.

A lady that used to teach Sarah and Katie died of cancer just recently.

I guess I am in a sombre mood. Not depressed. But sombre.

Last Sunday, at the Surrey Swans I was chatting with Laura and mentioned the conversation I’d had with Jan and Jan’s husband at the wedding the other week.

Laura asked me if it was the fact that I’m a TV that causes me problems with the idea of God and / or the Church.

As my friend Dani mentioned to me recently, God is not the Church and the Church is not God.

As I said to Laura, it’s not just the TV thing. There are other things as well. I think they are associated more with the Church concept of God than necessarily with God. But in lots of ways they are problems with my own concept of God based on my own beliefs when I was involved with the Church. So it’s a little mixed up.

For example. These days I don’t think that all manifestations of pornography are bad. I know that some are. But so are some cups of coffee and pairs of trainers (sneakers) when they have been made by people that are oppressed. Neither do I think all people that work within the sex industry are bad people engaged in badness. Again, I know that some are, but my guess is that people involved in the arms trade do a lot more damage to people than the average person that works in the sex industry.

In my church days pornography was bad … even though I used it. I believed that God thought it was bad. So I felt very guilty about it.

So … these days I’m not able to easily get alongside the Church and the God that I once knew.

It’s curious in a way. Over the past few years, for the first time in my life I think, I’ve learned to be happy with who I am.

Yet I feel that the God that I used to believe in wouldn’t be happy at all.

And it’s not easy for me to conjure up a God that is ok with me as I am.

So … I’m a lost kind of Andrea.

But yet, I’m not unhappy. 

For the moment my purpose in life, I think, is to be myself and to live life in all of it’s fullness … which, actually, is almost a Biblical kind of thing.

Tonight though, at this moment, I feel a great sadness for Cathy and John and Phillipa.

Maybe one day it will make some kind of sense.

A song by Julie Matthews from the CD Hitting the Ground Running (Chris While and Julie Matthews) :

Somewhere I walk alone

by Julie Matthews

Somewhere east of here

There is a storm coming down

Oh the hatches battened down

In some sleepy town

Someone’s life is shattered

Into pieces on the ground

Oh somewhere east of here

There is a storm coming down

Somewhere west of here

There is a baby still born

Oh the mother is forlorn

How to carry on

Or fill her empty arms

When all she dreamed about is gone

Oh somewhere west of here

There is a baby is still born

I could be anyone or everyone

I could be anywhere or everywhere

In this lottery of life

With all the cards we draw

Somewhere I walk beside you

Somewhere I walk alone

Somewhere north and south

There are two strangers that will meet

Somewhere in between

Fated it would seem

Drawn together here by chance

Or pulled by destiny

Oh somewhere north and south

There are two strangers that will meet

I could be anyone or everyone

I could be anywhere or everywhere

In this lottery of life

With all the cards we draw

Somewhere I walk beside you

Somewhere I walk ...

I could be anyone or everyone

I could be anywhere or everywhere

In this lottery of life

With all the cards we draw

Somewhere I walk beside you

Somewhere I walk alone

It’s curious isn’t it. I just switched on the music system … it’s playing random selections from a USB stick with over 30 CD’s on it … and it just chose this song as I pasted the lyrics into this entry.

At the concert I was at last month Julie explained a bit of where this song came from.

It reminds me a little of the concept of infinite Andrea’s.

Just a few days ago on a different walk I thought of how the seemingly trivial and unimportant things we do and decisions that we make actually change the affect the whole of our history … future. The people we meet. Marriages. Children. A butterfly effect kind of thing.

Chance and destiny.

Calvinism and Arminianism.


Pretty Sissy Dani said...

I always seem to be commenting on your posts like these, Andrea!

I don't know whether you were a member of the Church of England when you were a churchgoer, but the Anglican "three-legged stool" of scripture, tradition and reason not only permits but encourages questions such as yours. Faith without questions is simply blind obedience...and I don't think that's what God wants from us.

Let me recommend a book to you--complete with an Amazon link. It's "A New Kind of Christianity" by Brian D. McLaren. It gave me new insight into my own problems with most Christian churches. Here's the link:

Andrea said...

Thanks for your thoughts Dani and the recommendation. It was actually a Baptist church ... but reasonably non-extremist. I ordered the book ... all the way from Canada ... so I should have some interesting reading over the Christmas holiday. Thanks again ... you're a sweetie.

Pretty Sissy Dani said...

I gather the Baptists of Britain are quite a bit more "liberal" than the ones of the USA (especially our Southern Baptist contingent). Not that it would be difficult to be more liberal than that.

You should enjoy the book and it will give you some real food for thought.