It has taken me so long to write the customary new year's post, that we are already double digits into January; most people by now have already gotten used to writing '2016' without having to add a corrective curve to a 5.
Yes, I went through my little SOP for the process of transiting to a new year (which you probably have read about here;) am still in the process, actually, left in the dust behind the relentless pace of the calendar. My shelves are only partially cleared--but I did manage to do the 10 Questions!
This year, I want to share with you some of the answers I found myself writing to these 10 Questions.
Those which aren't too personal, that is. Some of these questions are so relentlessly specific and personal, I don't think you'd care to show your answers to many people; it'd be almost like going to a confessional.
1. What's one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?
Last year, my thoughts were all on how I could see and enjoy God in my everyday life, and I believe I did grow in cultivating that awareness of His goodness in moments, experiences, and things. This time, however, I found myself writing just one simple phrase. Which upon reflection I think must be the natural consequences of that cultivating.
Love His attributes.
Whenever I thought of the dear faces that dimly reflected something of Him to me. Whenever I consciously thanked God for the stark beauty of a blindingly blue sky, laced with wisps of cloud as airy as dropped consonants.Whenever I took a moment to breathe in the thought that I was alive, that one more day of feeling and responding and remembering was given to me--that penetrating depth of feeling, like the warmth your skin wakes up glowing with after sleeping under the sun.
Happiness sprang from the contemplation of His attributes. Slowly, I was learning to see just how His beauty looked like, in my world. Slowly, I was learning to love His creativity, His gentleness, His patience--as I passionately loved the ways they were manifested in my life. Even His righteousness. That was one of the most difficult attributes for me to learn to love--understandably, as a sinner. Paradoxically, perhaps, I learned to love His righteousness and find deep comfort in it instead of guilt and fear, at the moments when man's sinfulness overwhelmed me. Righteousness is most beautiful only when sin is at its ugliest.
I believe that our love of God becomes deeper and more--this is an ambiguous word, and using it feels risky--realistic, when it encompasses not just a vague identity (which is how we approach human relationships, isn't it? We love others for who we think they are, and conflict arises when they reveal it's not an accurate perception. When is it ever, anyway? How could it?) but the vast scope of His attributes. Which is a chim word that used to trip me up in the catechism, and probably sounds incredibly stuffy to most people--but actually is a fascinating term to describe what God is, the abstract virtues He so very uniquely embodies.
What is love? What is mercy? What is beauty? God Is, in the same way He once said I AM.
And what a privilege that we don't have to know this only because some text on a page tells us so, but because our very lives speak it.
"God is Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in His being wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth."
a small voice
Ci thinks some of God's greatest blessings to mankind are