Wednesday, June 15, 2005
There are only a few days left of the first quarter century of my life and I'm feeling depressed. Looking back over the last ten years of my life I can only wonder how different it could have been if certain things had not happened. It is hard not to feel a little bitter about how things have turned out in some respects. Such anniversaries, which challenge us to take stock, do, however, hold out the promise of drawing a line under certain events and opening a new chapter. At present we can only see in a glass, darkly. However, no matter how painful and frustrating the past has been, the grace of the future may well permit me to read its events with different eyes. By the mercy of God I trust that this might be the case in my situation. Please pray for me. I have not achieved an awful lot in the last week. I finally finished reading Vision: The Scholarly Contributions of Mark Searle to Liturgical Renewal, a book that has whet my appetite for more of his material. 'Infant Baptism Reconsidered' is one of the very best articles I have encountered on the subject of paedobaptism and other essays like 'Private Religion, Individualistic Society, and Common Worship' are deeply insightful. I also read Alexander Schmemann's Introduction to Liturgical Theology, which is a superb book. His treatment of mysteriological and ascetical piety is something that I will undoubtedly return to in the future. I have already read The Eucharist, For the Life of the World and Of Water and the Spirit. It is very hard to say which one of Schmemann's books I liked the most. I also finished reading Gene Wolfe's Soldier of the Mist, which I enjoyed. At present my brother Mark is doing his placement in our locality and is staying with us. It is good to have him around again. He turns 21 in just under two weeks' time (Jonathan, Mark and I celebrate our birthdays within 15 days of each other; Peter, as usual, is the odd one out). Jonathan (A-Levels) and Peter (GCSEs) are in the middle of exams at present (not that you would notice in Peter's case). Jonathan has been taking time off work for his studies. Lord-willing, if he gets a B in his Spanish, he will be studying Linguistics in Manchester University in September. I am starting to prepare for university. There is an awful lot to do, particularly on my Hebrew. I will probably cut down my blogging significantly from the end of this week until I start at St. Andrews. I would appreciate if you would pray for my studies, that I will get up to date in time. Most of my study has to be done during lunch breaks at work and on the bus. Unfortunately, both places are far from ideal. My job may be mind-numbingly boring, but it does give me to opportunity to listen to Christian material while I work. I have almost finished listening to James Jordan's 46-talk series on 1 and 2 Samuel, a series I would highly recommend to anyone else. Last Saturday I played football for the first time for over a year (since this). It went well and I scored a number of lucky goals. However, I have never felt so stiff as I did on Sunday! I will be playing again this weekend and I will remember to warm up this time.