So this morning I spoke about John the Baptist, partly because it was timely (for those of us who don’t have a church calendar app on our phone or just aren’t that way inclined- tomorrow is St John the Baptist’s day), partly because I work at 2 churches called St John the Baptist (folks are kind to me- they know I struggle with things like that), and also because it fitted in with what I wanted to share. You see, I was also speaking a bit about when Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem (its in Luke 2, vs 42 to the end)- classic parenting text: its either how to parent (if the Virgin Mary can tell Jesus off, you’re kidding if you think you’re going to get away without one) or its an example of human frailty (when faced with losing her son Mary slips back into the bad habits that we all try to avoid (when they eventually find Jesus is there any sign of relief or joy? No, its standard ‘how could you do this to us? territory… nice one.)
Anyway, the point being that when we know and understand God more fully, as John the Baptist did, it affects our thinking and our lifestyle more intrinsically. And when we’re stressed, as Mary was, our thinking and behaviour often reverts to bad patterns… so the question that it raises for me is that of my own relationship with God. Am I growing in my self-awareness as a child of God and a servant of God, or am I static, maybe trying to hold position where I am or just unaware that I’m no longer in the same place of intimacy that I once was? Maybe I’ve no idea what this whole idea of intimacy with God means, or the concept utterly appalls me (or is just totally foreign- to the best of my knowledge Christianity is the only faith that is so extravagant as to claim that God loves us as children…)
And the outcome? That I want to be more intimate with God, to know and understand what it is to be loved… and that this comes from small things- the domestic parts of my spiritual life, as well as the huge things. So while these thoughts have come into my head after spending the afternoon tidying up my house and cleaning the kitchen, I hope that not only will I keep the surfaces sparkling, but I’ll also be more inclined to keep my spiritual life in shape.