Friday, 28 August 2009

An alphabet of gratitude: 'A' is for...

Time to begin to blog an 'alphabet of gratitude'.Shamelessly filching an idea from some of the revgals - particularly from Altar Ego over at Reverent Irreverence. Altar Ego's plan was to do this every day until she reached 'Z'.

I think I'm aiming to maybe do this once or twice a week, as a way in which I might build this into an ongoing attitude of gratitude: too often, I just blithely nod at God and go 'yeah, thanks' and race off to do something else. I think I want to be more intentional in my thanksgiving and gratitide and have a little less bratitude! We'll see.
In the midst of all the recent busy space of dissertation and locuming, I've been hugely aware of God's good grace, super friends, and lots of other good and fruitful gifts.

So let's start at the very beginning: 'A' is for...

Alphabet - 26 letters, which form words and phrases and sentences and spell
the stories of our lives. To hear and share each other's stories is an amazing and beautiful gift: as we tell our stories with each other, we connect and become 'real' and build relationships of love and trust and integrity... of support, of healing of care... of laughter and joy.
Augustine - who sometimes gets a bad press, but who I have come to love deeply. A flawed, fallible, wise and pastoral, immensely intelligent human being who wrote lines that make me smile, such as:
'give me chastity, but not yet'

and lines that make me understand this odd journey of faith a little more, and that peculiar yearning after God:
'you have made us for yourself and our restless hearts are restless until they find their rest in you'

and a response to God's faithfulness and utter beauty:

'late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you!
You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you.
In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created.
You were with me, but I was not with you.
Created things kept me from you;
yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all.
You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness.
You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness.
You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you.
I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more.
You touched me, and I burned for your peace.

[Confessions 10. 27]

Academia -
for the sheer joy of discovery and wonder and excitement. For the world unfolding on old, yellowing manuscripts and the profound and the mundane written in the spidery, difficult-to-read handwriting of those who have gone before us - of their fears, their joys, their sorrows... of their stories unfolding.

Aardvarks - who may have slipped Adam a swift 'tenner' in order to be the very first animal on the alphabetical lists... For games involving the word 'aardvark' and good friends and silly conversations.

Amazing God - who has brought all things into being. Whose love is beyond our wildest imagining, whose faithfulness goes beyond the heavens, who holds us and never lets us go.

and with that... off for a few days to 'minister-school' in St Andrews, and oddly, I'm looking forward to it!! :)


Enchanted said...

I like how you string words together and have enjoyed my time with you. I 'met' you through Rumours of Angels, and am looking forward to the future of this particular post. Thank you for the inspiration you've given me thus far.

Tanya said...

What a great idea. I think I will try to follow your example and try to develop that "attitude of Gratitude" through alphabetical prompting. Enjoy conference. I envy the chance you are getting to catch up with all the other candidates. It is strange to think everyone is heading off to conference and I am not.

Kate said...

This is such a good idea, Nikki. And I love that aardvarks have made it on to the list!!

Hope to catch up soon.