Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Soli deo gloria

How is it that one day life is orderly and you are content, a little cynical perhaps but on the whole just so, and then without warning you find the solid floor is a trapdoor and you are now in another place whose geography is uncertain and whose customs are strange?

-- Jeanette Winterson

It's impossible to explain to people what 2009 was like. Life isn't like a book; it can't be neatly summed up in a 5 line blurb at the back with extracts from glowing reviews from various newspapers. There are a hundred thousand blogposts up about what people did for the year, the best movies they watched and their favourite moments. I could list all of the movies I've watched, the books I've read and it still would not come close to describing the shifting of the tectonic plates that undergird my inner landscape.

A bildungsroman would have characterized this as the defining year, a year in which paths, values, worldviews, passions became clearer - the year in which you find yourself. I could have written this as my journey of self discovery and growth - and I nearly did. But it wouldn't fit. It was all wrong.

Yes there were epiphanies, revelations. Moments when truth blinded my eyes to all else, when the unveiled aurora of light and colour drove me to my knees.Yes, this was a year in which there was so much growing up, the pain of it coloured every moment, every scene.

But this isn't a bildungsroman. There was no self discovery, no revelation of who I was and where I was going that I did not already know. This was not the year I found myself; to find yourself is to reinvent - in different colours - the same solipsistic nightmare that we call life. To write about my year as though I engendered the changes, as though I could ever have re-ordered my life in this way on my own would be to create an egregious lie.

No. This was not the year I found myself.

Remember that song? The one you've heard so many times; you don't even hear the words anymore. That one. The one that goes:

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind but now I see.

I was found.


And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:1-9)

"I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted" (Job 42:2).


Christus invictus.
Tempus adest gratiæ

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