N is for…

Nothing.

nihilism-theres-really-nothing-to-it-quote-1
Absolutely NOTHING will pop up in my head when I try to think of an ‘N’ to write a short, imaginative and captivating post about. Why it is that I am so wholly devoid of inspiration I don’t know. It’s possible that a pervasive tiredness bears some responsibility, that and the illness I have tends to hijack the parts of my brain that might be otherwise creatively engaged.

So N is for Nihilism. For the philosophically uninitiated, this is the belief that the world and everything in it, life, values, morals, laws… are meaningless. There is no POINT to anything, nothing has any meaning.

Macbeth sums it up beautifully when he says:

“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more; it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.”

It’s a painful thought; one which challenges the my Christian faith on a daily basis at the moment. It would be so much easier to believe that life really is just a brief candle which is eventually snuffed out to burn no more.  Perhaps owing to the extremist tendencies of Anorexia, nihilism stalks me daily, lightly running cold fingers through my hair. Death-coated whispers trickle through the aural canals, trembling tiny bones and dizzying my stance.

Turns out I have something to write about after all.

N is for Nietzsche. For Nihilism. For Nothing.

A2Z-BADGE-2016

 

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J and K…

Bear with me o

kay?

(I know it’s cheating but sometimes you just have to take a shortcut.)

Here’s mine…

J is for Jesus. Mostly, if you reaA2Z-BADGE [2016]d the gospels, a very likeable chap. Mystical, yes. Unpredictable, very. Would you have hung out with him? And if you would… for what reason? Because no doubt about it, he was pretty rebellious…and exciting… Would you have enjoyed the drama? Would you have liked it that he caused a stir? Would you have been attracted by the cool magic stuff? Would you have been drawn to his intense love and his wisdom?

C.S Lewis had a lot to say about the matter and I leave his famous quote about Jesus here. It’s a good one to ponder…

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

New Leaves

Okay folks! I’m going to level with you and you’re probably not going to agree with me…

You know all those beautifully crafted books on the ‘inspiration and motivation’ table in your bookshop? The ones which, somewhat irritatingly for those who are OCD enough to care, won’t sit right on your bookshelf at home because they’re too small, or too square, or too thin?

The soothing, matte cover entices you to pick it up and slide your palm across it… and when you open it, you’re met with a spectacular array of orange sunsets and waterfalls and extreme close ups of droplets sitting heavy on thick green  leaves.

Each photo is laced with wise words we see stitched on cushions, coasters, coffee cups and small, extortionately priced pebbles and metal tokens.

I’m being facetious. But I hope you get the idea that I’m really not the kind of girl who buys into the ‘little book of calm’ culture.

Now I’ve prefaced my post with a stinging crit, I’m going to contradict myself royally by admitting that I saw one such little book in a charity shop and, having been quite moved by words I’d never heard before, I bought it!

One of the things that I believe about life is that every one of us, without exception, needs to believe in new leaves. No matter how good or bad we are, no matter what our race, creed, culture, we all have areas of our lives in which we need to turn over a new leaf.

Arnold Bennett inspired this reflection by putting it like this:

The chief beauty about time

is that you cannot waste it in advance.

The next year, the next day, the next hour
are lying ready for you,
as perfect, as unspoiled,
as if you had never wasted or misapplied
a single moment in all your life.
You can turn over a new leaf every hour
if you choose.

Arnold Bennett

I love the idea that at any given moment,  I can turn over a new leaf.

It doesn’t matter about the charred mass of rubble behind me, it doesn’t matter about the blotted page I’m standing on now, the next step is onto an unspoilt canvas.

God put it like this:

“I–yes, I alone–will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again”.

(Isaiah 43:25)

New Living Translation

And so it is, that I have to swallow my cynicism, and allow hope, once again, to permeate my soul.

I hope you can too.

A whisper about Halloween…

And it IS a whisper, because I am so uncomfortable with expressing a belief that to a great many people, will seem ridiculous, horribly humbug-ish, off-puttingly evangelical, or just plain crackpot!

I hate the idea that I am in any way an ‘over serious – too prescriptive – fundamentalist’ Christian, and so often this leads me to stay quiet on the subject of evil. But this is the truth about a belief I hold somewhere, deep down, embedded in my sense of spirituality and given the deathly, festive feel to a lot of blog spaces at the mom ent, I am going to give my two pennyworth!

I don’t celebrate Halloween in the supermarket sense. (Had you guessed already?)

I should probably explain (in an off handed manner) that I “don’t mind if OTHER people want to dress up as witches and ghouls and zombies and devils”.

“That’s FINE. It’s just not for me”.

But actually, I DO mind.

I do mind that every year, we make a joke of something that is really very serious. I do mind that while we while away hours playing with ghoulish things and partying with blood and fire and all kinds of whacked out representations of the devil, ‘real’ evil is creeping round, enjoying the kudos, harming people who playfully open their minds to it.

What I most object to about Halloween, is the fact that in our preoccupation with the paranormal, and our laughter at the concept of all things ghoulish, we make a mockery of an evil that is so fearfully real, that were it to be unveiled before us, we would quake and cower and beg for mercy.

Okay.

Now I’m stepping down from my (non orange) soapbox.

I know it’s controversial but… any thoughts?