The Week that was

1 03 2009

My wife and I planned a week off work together. Her academic calendar said she had a “study” week, and my work offered me an extra week of annual leave with no strings attached. Call it divine timing because the break has been so refreshing. I didn’t get as much reading done as I had hoped, but I did get a few things done.

I finished Eugene Peterson’s “Christ plays in Ten-Thousand Places”. It’s a fantastic book on spiritual theology from a man who was both a university professor, pastor, and author of the “Message” translation of the Bible. Peterson divides the book into three main chapters. Christ plays in Creation, History and Community. I’m going to use each of those to talk about my week off.

Creation – Peterson talks about cultivating a sense of wonder about creation. Wonder that drives us to worship our creator, our messiah Jesus Christ. Wonder that encapsulates what fear-of-the-Lord is all about. So in true exploratory fashion my wife and I visited a small Island called “Tiri Tiri Matangi”. It’s a small open wildlife sanctuary. You can only get their by boat. There are no “zoo attractions” here, mainly birdlife. I’ve never been a fan of birds, but during my time there I came to appreciate them in an all new light. Some of them were breathtakingly beautiful. I found myself humbled in reverence and awe. Creation is breathtaking. It moves us to worship God for the gift he has given us.

History – On Sunday (Today) my wife and I celebrated 1 year of marriage. I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone by. I saw a movie where a father tells a son how quickly time flies. You blink and you’re fifty. Time flies. Life is short and then it’s over.
So in the true spirit of history my wife and I retold our individual and marriage stories. The same stories we had told each other on our first few dates. Stories that involved love and heartache, successes and failures, endings and beginings. We celebrated our own exodus’ and passover’s. Not to sound as if it was some majestic etherial conversation though. It was a spontaneous series of conversations over a few days. Just so you know I’m still human LOL !!

Community – We’ve come a long way in terms of cultivating some good friendships in our Church. My wife joined my church when we got married. She was very involved in a small church and it was hard for her to leave. It’s taken some time to get to know people there, and it hasn’t been easy. But I would change a thing about the process. I wouldn’t make it easier or harder. It’s just right. We cannot force community on people, it’s somehting that happens directly from relationships. So in the spirit of community and reaching out to people, we made the effort. The first step. We invited a couple from our homegroup over for dinner. Something magical happened. We had fun. We laughed, swopped stories, gave advice, and grew as friends. Then we did it again. We had someone over for Sunday lunch at the spur of the moment. We asked them at church and they said Yes. We had fun, we laughed, we swopped stories, and we grew as friends. While this was going on, a sense of community was growing on us. We’re now more at home at our Church and keen to keep going. Building relationships with others is risky. You could be rejected. You could get hurt or even worse make a fool of yourself and have to see that person week after week at church. But you know what? It’s worth it!

This week I’ve also come to the conclusion that I don’t like reading C.S. Lewis’ non fiction books. I’ve really tried to read them but I just can’t do it. I don’t know what it is. He was a fantastic thinker and writer, with an amazing story. But it’s just not for me at this time.

That enough for now. Lord willing, more on Monday if time permits.

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2 responses

2 03 2009
Mason

Hi Grant,
Glad you two could get a week off, nice to get a rest from the hectic pace of everyday life once in a while. I could use a vacation myself right now.

Sounds like Peterson’s book was quite good. I have another from that series, “Eat This Book” but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I think that my end of Evangelicalism really needs to reclaim all three of those themes, especially the theme of creation. Not that the people I know well don’t love the outdoors, quite the opposite in fact. Yet it ends there. There is very little value placed on creation and little emphasis on how we are responsible to care for the world God has put us in.
The use of the world as a “natural resource” and the “Drill here drill now” rhetoric during the last election seem to resonate with people I know to a level that makes me very uncomfortable and is quite unbiblical and irresponsible.
Personally I think most of it can be linked to a dualistic/Platonic understanding of the faith and an escapist Left Behind style eschatology, but that’s an issue for another time.

I’ve enjoyed much of Lewis’s nonfiction, but I have not read Miracles and heard that one was sort of tough to slog through, Mere Christianity though was really good.

Congrats on the anniversary, very cool.

2 03 2009
aworthydiscussion

Thanks Mason, it’s been a very much needed week off. No one ever has to sell vacation time to employees. They all know that they need it!! LOL.

I don’t know what it is about CS Lewis’ non fiction. I just found myself unable to get into the books. I’ve got four or five of them sitting on my shelf, some of which are now sitting on the NZ Equivalent of Ebay. I love his Narnia books. We read a chapter aloud every so often. They’re fantastically engaging stories.

Peterson’s book was fantastic. But it was quite long too. I think he could have done more chapters but made them shorter.

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