Since I’ve been at university I’ve not felt God’s presence at all. Last year, during my first year, I barely went to church and made quite a few hurtful (to myself and God) mistakes. This year I realised that I want to and need to get back to God. However, I just felt like I was living a dual life: Sundays I had this mask of the happy Christian, I had quite shallow conversations at church and then, for the rest of the week, I continued without God not reading my Bible or praying alone. I was angry at God for not speaking to me or revealing his presence to me though, with hindsight, I can see that I wasn’t making a true whole-hearted effort to contact Him. I was also angry for various occurrences in the past and used my anger as an excuse for sin. Deep down I didn’t really want to change, I convinced myself I was having fun and living the student life that all students “should” experience, like it was some sort of entitlement to fun that God or church was trying to take away from me. I still believed in God, but I was completely dead in my faith. I also didn’t feel like I was making true friends because I didn’t really know my identity — it wasn’t in Jesus anymore, it was a free-running concept. I couldn’t figure myself out, let alone how people could try and figure me out.
But this weekend taught me to find my identity in Jesus. I began finally and truly opening up to him, letting go of my anger which I had held for so long over something so small. I started to admit my sin and began to see why it was a sin in the first place which allowed me to truly repent, which I hadn’t been doing before. It was a sin because it was against what God wanted for me, and all he wants is just the best for me. He has made His desires the desires of my heart now so that I want to live a holy life with him and no longer see His “rules” as rules and restrictions to freedom, but rather their own freedom from the vicious circle of sin that does not satisfy or make you feel good. He wasn’t trying to take away my “entitlement to fun” and present me with some boring, safe life that is unappealing to me. Quite the opposite, I had the most fun weekend I’ve had in a long time and felt so connected and comfortable with the people around me. And the life he has planned for me is not boring or safe, it will be an adventure, an adventure with him to help others by fulfilling their needs but also but trying to show them that they can receive and share the same joy I have now rediscovered.
Why do I like the city?
Because a thousand lives can pass you by without you having enough time to wonder about each one.
Because no one really has any roots but an amalgam of different lines connecting different cultlures and ways of life.
Because just when you think there couldn´t possibly anywhere to hide in a place with so many people, there´s a secluded green or path by the river that no one ever goes and you can just sit and reflect, and watch the world go by.
Because when too much is running around in your head you can block it out with the noise from outside. A comfortable noise and fills in the uncomfortable silences.
Because it never sleeps. No it´s way too much to do. It´s way too active and exciting for sleeping.
Because to can travel for an hour and still be in the same city but in a completely different world.
Because you can leave and come back and everything will have changed. It will be new and even more exciting.
Because it holds unlimited opportunity, stories, futures, unlimited anything. You´ll never exhuast it, become tired of it.
What is this 3 days bullshit… can’t I just be texted/ text now…?
Her line of tarnished, slightly yellow teeth are spread in a smile across
Her creased, tanned face making her nose crinkle at the sides.
Her eyes squint, black beads staring out from
Under neatly, but not perfectly, arched eyebrows.
Her forehead stretches out to scraped-back deep, deep black hair.
A touch of pearls twinkle at the bottom of her exposed ears,
And proudly, beneath her face, the neck extends and twists.
She hugs a smiling child tightly, two faces squashed together,
One gap-toothed smile against a full-grown grin,
Both as blindly happy as each other, head to head,
Eye to eye, cheek to cheek- the merging
Of colours, sweet, innocent and warm.
“Why did you put that ugly picture of me up on your wall?”
“It’s not ugly, mãe*, it’s beautiful.”
So I realised why I keep myself so constantly busy to the point I think I might collapse with exhuastion…
Because even when I have that one hour to myself, to do nothing, I begin to think too much.
I begin to think too much about how I life is inevitably rolling towards a 9-5 office job with only 2 weeks holiday a year, how society dictates that you should be selfish and indeed you have to be selfish to even survive let alone to succeed, how this might be the last chances I have to have fun yet I’m not even sure of what having fun constitutes… how all brilliant and ‘classic’ literature seem to come to the same conclusion about life- our intangible, short-lived lives against a world that is so permanent, about how the system is created by us but not for us, about how we shouldn’t conform, yet we all end up doing so because there doesn’t seem to be an escape.
And the thoughts spiral on down- so I stop and create something else for me to do. Some are anethetised anyway to these thoughts, by cheap reality TV shows and attention money-grabbing adverts- but I just try to keep myself busy with activities.
First world problems. Yet, the ‘third world’ seem to want to badly to be us.