Thursday, October 8, 2015


Sometimes the experiences you have and the life you live are simply too big to thoroughly digest and make sense of. Too much happens too fast, and even your fastest sprint is not enough to keep you ahead of, or even alongside, everything. That's where I'm at now.

Goodness and Beauty onslaught me daily in copious amounts, akin to when someone else holds the goblet you drink from, and they keep it coming past your ability to actually swallow and drink how much they pour into your mouth. The Goodness and the Beauty come in so many shapes and forms, and the world just seems bigger and bigger and bigger. Old libraries; intellectual discoveries; social interactions; accents; skinny dipping in the ice-cold Thames at night; sweeping Welsh landscapes; castles; cathedrals; wild Welsh blackberries; leaping off Welsh waterfalls; Welsh lamb (generally lots of Welsh things); candle and fire light; pubs; coffee shops; plays; reading, reading, reading; writing, writing, writing. The list seems virtually inexhaustible.

At times it all seems surreal. And at others everything seems to be in perfect focus, with clear, hard, sharp edges that makes everything take on an almost super-real aspect. As if I'm living now for the first time. This is a sensation I've had many times before, but I do not know if I've ever had it this consistently for this long (we'll see if it lasts the whole semester). It's as if life is super-condensed right now, and more is packed into the time and space than normally fits there. It's a little like Lewis's concept of the Shadowlands, and how in The Great Divorce everything in heaven is harder, more substantial, and more vivid than anything the travelers have experienced before.

The whole experience is flying by. I do not so much feel that it will all suddenly be over and I'll find myself regretting that I didn't do as much or experience as much as I wanted to (it feels like it would be nearly impossible to be experiencing more than I am), but I do think it will suddenly be over, and I'll be wondering what it was that I just went through.

It's all rather wondrous, but it would be incorrect to say that every moment is a fairy tale moment. Of course there are moments of loneliness. Of course there are moments of wondering whether you're really connecting with anyone. There are moments of stress as you wonder if you can really handle the work load. There are moments when I wonder why God even has me here. What role is this semester playing and going to play in the purposes he has for my life?

It's really hard to spend the time in the word each day that I want. And I really hope that the experience is shaping me more and more into the image of Christ, being in the middle of it right now it's hard to say. And I really hope that ultimately I'm growing in wisdom. For I can gather all the knowledge and information in the world, read all the literature and theology I want, but if I'm not growing in wisdom, wisdom rooted in love, then it is all for naught. And if I'm not growing in relationship with the God of the universe, then it is all for naught.

Let me ever live a life of worship, a life spent walking close to the heart of the Father, a life spent in taking steps that always have the dove in mind.

1 comment:

  1. Amen.

    I don't know what it is about the U.K. for me, but it seems to be a thin place. Of all the places I've ever lived, it's there that I am consistently, perpetually overwhelmed by that (never-ceasing) experience of Goodness and Beauty. Of a cup that runs over, too much, too fast. I was accused (often) of it being a honeymoon phase -- but I lived there two and a half years, all told, and it was as true at the end as it was at the beginning.

    Delighted that you are experiencing joy, delighted that you are encountering the Divine (in others, in learning, in pubs and waterfalls), delighted that the God who led you there will lead you on. Love you.