~ We seek the 'highs' of the Christian experience - the feeling of deep connection with God, the joyous emotions of feeling His power work through us. But actually, I think God most seeks the 'troughs' for us - because it is there we are best moulded into His likeness. Quote from 'The Screwtape Letters*: "It is during such trough periods, much more than during the peak periods, that it is growing into the sort of creature He wants it to be... He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles... Our [the devils'] cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy's [God's] will, looks upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, but still obeys."
~ Feelings are second-rate, and in fact their significance come to almost nothing, in the Christian walk. Of course, feelings are involved - joy and pleasure comes from Christ, and passion for Godly things, etc. But (see above lesson), when they are not there, when the dreaded 'dryness' (i.e. lack of emotion and desire to do God's will) strikes, it actually matters little. The important thing is continuing to bend to Christ's commands, and seeking Him no matter what.
~ I must choose to use the weapon of prayer diligently, not just when my feelings dictate.
~ If Satan can't get me to give up a Christian practice, he will try to get me to take self-righteous pride in it.
~ Other lessons... hmm... just read The Screwtape Letters, and you'll discover a myriad of things I've been challenged about in the past week. (P.S. The Screwtape Letters is an absolute joy to read; the literary brilliance of C.S. Lewis is absolutely incredible!)
~ Two friends giving up things (work and rest respectively) to come see the musical I was in - the last ever with that company. (I think I mentioned something about that last week...)
~ Panadol (can't give enough thanks for this wonderful medicine).
~ Frangipani flowers
~ Chicken BLT.
~ Floating down the creek with my family. Literally. In life-jackets (all the better to float with), drifting down with the current.
~ Squash. (As in the sport. Not the vegetable. And not the action. :P)
~ Little brother's birthday.
~ "The Screwtape Letters." (Oh my word... SO GOOD!!!! Ah yeh, see above.)
~ 1/2 price!!! cheap off-cuts from hand-made lollies! Think: two big chunks of solid
~ Long nails.
~ Music by Josh Garrels.
~ "The Screwtape Letters." (Wait, did I mention that?)
~ Holidays. Ahhh, relaxation.
~ God healing my runny nose.
~ Games of 500 (the card game) with grandparents and parents. Incredibly pressure-filled, and incredibly brain-zonking (or should I say stimulating), and incredibly fun.
~ Agatha Christie novels.
~ Road-side rose farm. And subsequent 'windfall' buds brought into the car.
~ Safe driving.
*For those who may not know, The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis is written from the 'perspective' of a 'senior devil' (Screwtape). Basically it's fictional letters written 'by Screwtape' to a junior devil, Wormwood. Hence the 'our' meaning Satan's forces, and 'Him' or 'the Enemy' meaning God.