August 12th (knowledge and experience)

I was feeling really impatient while doing Chi Kung this morning; at first I was really into it, then I wanted it to end. I started thinking of how the time spent doing it was extremely short in terms of the duration of my entire life, which helped. When I was walking to work, I suddenly had a massive appreciation of being alive. Spontaneous sprinting ensued, which also resulted in better punctuality.

After a day of constant verbal abuse in the kitchen, the Eastern theme continued with some wind-down Pilates. Then had an unexpectedly eventful worship session after tea.

I’m so used to the fact that Jesus is in everything, that I often forget there are times his presence is thick, in a way that defines a moment beyond the ordinary. Paul says in Philippians, “I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.” Traditionally I have a more experience-based approach. But after an encounter comes the ordinary, out of which is born knowledge of his goodness, which tends to be even more profound.

July 29th (dancing in the dark)

Walked through Botanical Gardens in the morning on Matt’s big send off to Pride. Then it was time to get ready for Jen and Evie’s wedding. I’d been looking forward to it so much, mainly because it was all in the afternoon, and didn’t sprawl over the whole day. Also, I wasn’t playing any music, which made it seem like even more time.

I really loved every part of it; I’ve never tasted such chicken. But after finishing eating, and having pudding and a cup of tea, the galaxy of food in my stomach had consolidated into one mass, with the realisation I’d over eaten.

Also, the first dance was the best I’ve ever seen, but I had the inkling that it would be beyond the ordinary. I didn’t join in any dancing later, but I was surprisingly blessed by Jesus’ presence for the next few hours as I stood and listened to the music. I don’t mind dancing on my own before Holyspirit, but in that context, where everyone forms circles, it feels like a performance, and I’m too much of a perfectionist to join in. Maybe I should transform the front room into a dance floor to practice.

June 23rd (cloak)

Was operating at a low level of annoyance for most of today, because in the morning I asked Jesus if I should start applying for jobs, and he said no. So I was filling my time with the same recreational activities, and trusting the God of the universe with my future, instead of my own efforts. Completely intolerable.

I had a revelation of his presence when I started making tea. I listened to Chris Tomlin’s Burning Lights album, and felt Holyspirit like a cloak as soon as the music started. It made me realise that all I really want in life is to know him, and not work or fulfil a specific role. To be honest, he’s probably more interested in knowing me, than I him. I also realised I should have carried on with the conversation from the morning, instead of trying to reason everything out.

A day in the life – May 29th (still not winning)

Survived the bank holiday madness at The Cabin. Maybe a small part of me died, but I haven’t noticed yet. After being really busy, we obviously all feel entitled to rest. But actually, I think outside of Christ we’re not entitled to any reward for our work. Only in him can we enjoy rest. But that knowledge makes it more difficult to decide when to start or stop. If nothing I do makes rest any more legitimate, then how do you decide when it’s appropriate?

It’s strange, but even though I was really tired, I wanted to do some Pilates afterwards. For me, it helps me relax even more, despite the fact I’m undergoing more exertion. I don’t know if this is normal, but I get to decide what to do with my body. Then listens to Ghost Stories by Coldplay, a staple glory album. I’ve been stuck in a vicious circle of Native Indians and Justin Bieber, which needed breaking. I do all these things (listening to music watching anime etc), but they’re all meaningless without his presence. 
I’ve started trying to commit Fur Elise by Beethoven to memory. It gets much harder after the famous beginning. I still hate Bohnanza. A strategy must exist, and I will find it.

A day in the life – May 15th (a saga ends, but not really)

Started off the day with some life admin tasks, then headed off to Hillsborough to clean. I love light, showery rain. Listened to both of the Stadium Arcadium albums by Red Hot Chili Peppers. These guys used to be one of my favourite bands, but I don’t listen to them much anymore for whatever reason.

I started thinking my Dorian Gray book was casting a spell on me, as I fell asleep again while reading, in the same chair. But it turned out to be the result of caffeine deficiency, which was fixed by a lovely cup of tea. Watched the last ever episodes of Naruto Shippuden. The final one packed such an emotional punch, I don’t think I’ll ever be the same. However, as with all long-running animes, it’s never truly over, and I’m looking forward to watching the adventures of his son, Boruto.
Finished with a bit a worship. Instead of praying for his presence, I decided to ask that I would be more present, as he is more real than me.

A day in the life – May 14th (pursuing onions, and Jesus, but not necessarily tears)

Good start to the day with some solid worship at church. Then some of us were trying to find a place to eat afterwards, but we were wandering around Crookes in the rain being denied by establishment after establishment. In the end we landed in Casanova; obviously my Sicilian experience has not yet ended. It was good, although my spontaneous hankering for Indian has still not been quenched. The conversation was lit up, with one of the topics being my hatred of the horrific interior layout of the Co-op next door. 

After getting home, I baffled myself with my capacity to waste time. In two and a half hours, I managed to fall asleep in my chair reading, then visit Sainsbury’s twice (which was right near where we ate) solely to purchase a banana and onions.
I’ve decided to start listening to more worship music to pursue God’s presence. Initial thoughts tonight: instead of constantly spending time building towards a theoretical future where it’s clear to encounter God, focus on him. Colossians 1:22 says we’re “holy in his sight,” meaning there’s no more work to be done before we can see him. It’s called his presence because he’s present. The start of Psalm 103 helped me:
Bless the Lord, oh my soul

And let all that’s within me shout out

A day in the life – May 13th (next bite)

I worked at The Cabin today, but I can’t remember any specifics of the day, apart from what happened at lunchtime. I was eating, and God said, “Will you approach my presence like your next bite?” I was at a loss for words, and didn’t say anything. Demolished the waffle though. 

Those words were playing on my mind for the rest of the day. I have the tendency to do activities with the aim of creating space for Holyspirit, with ultimately makes me run out of time to do this. It reminded me of how Jesus talks about daily bread, and the manna in the desert (Exodus). When the food was in front of me, I ate all of it, calculating and trusting it would sustain me. Right at the end of the day, I listened to a few Bethel songs. I didn’t feel anything in the moment, but sense the presence of a huge invitation around the corner.