Wow, something feels very different. I have returned to college and I think I have taken the whole of me with me, if you understand what I mean. Now that I look back on terms one and two, I sense that I had left half of me behind. I felt different to how I had felt as a part-time, independent student, but not quite as 'all there' as I am now.
I think I am starting to live in the present moment a little bit more. The whole black (probably fuschia shirt), white plastic thing is there in the future, I guess, but I feel less heavy with the weight of this awesome institution I need to fathom and considerably lighter, in that I am experiencing this great big God, so much bigger than this creature we call the Church of England. I am seeing the adventures that this God is involving his people in outside and beyond gathered communal singing and liturgy. I saw all that before, but at the moment, it is like I have put my 3D glasses on and God is blasting it all at me in Dolby Surround Sound. It's exhausting and exhilarating.
I am seeing him in different shapes and sizes and in the places I wouldn't have expected him to hang-out. He is awesome and transcendent and yet imminent and knowable.
Part of this comes from having experienced street pastor work, some of it comes from finding a prayer partner who sustains me and gives me guidance and part of it is down to my placement church. St Alkmund's, Derby, is taking me to houses where undergraduates discuss God's omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence in Genesis, to signing group with theatre visits, to Storehouse which feeds the homeless and marginalised, to a cafe church with 60 young people and then to Church on Sunday where we are invited to express our love for God without inhibition. Discipleship is big, mentoring is big and accountability is huge. This is not your average mainstream Anglican church. So in some senses, it is reminding me of my 'conversion' adventures (I think I can call them that even though I was brought up in a Christian home, no space here for the 'second blessing' debate). This feels like conversion to the institution, no that's not quite right, I do not know quite how to express it but it is like there is this current of electricity running through the denomination I sit within, and it seems that God is very serious about using the Anglican church to reach people and equip them for his service. So just leave me here for a while so I can soak it all up, it really feels like a very 'good' place to 'rest' for a while.