It's almost 5.30pm on a Saturday night, I am in Glasgow… And I am settled ready to spend the evening reading commentaries on Isaiah. And THEN, if time allows, maybe do some final seminar planning for Deep Impact (which I STILL can't believe is next weekend already!) I know, spending a Saturday evening on these kinds of activities makes me sound incredibly sad! I promise I'm not… It's just that prep time is short and tomorrow is filled to the brim with quality-adventures as my fake little sisters are visiting for our last day together before I leave the UK. (We are *cough* a little excited!)
And, I must confess, that as today has been spent discussing research methods and dissertation writing, I am feeling slightly brain-fried. Which is not a particularly constructive mode for trying to write either a slightly humorous, or slightly profound blog post… 😉 (So please lower your expectations… Now… Thank you.)
As I'm not sure there are many of you out there with a particularly keen interest in the pros and cons of various qualitative and quantitative research (correct me if I'm wrong…), I'm going to take you back to my morning walk to uni for my rather-ambiguous blog point.
Because today's walk to uni was not as uneventful and carefree as I might have hoped.
When I looked out of my window to see dry-and-a-little-sunny skies over Glasgow, I dressed, in what I felt were appropriate clothes for the weather. On my feet, I placed bright purple Vans trainers. You know, the kind of trainers/pumps/shoes that look pretty good with skinny jeans (sorry guy-readers), but which are relatively useless when it comes to being waterproof/having grip/any of the actual practical reasons that shoes were created other than looking good.
Which was ok, I genuinely thought. Because the sky was bright and the clouds were nowhere to be seen.
(I should also add that I had my arms full of Japan-research folders containing interview transcripts from the summer.)
Ok. So there are no problems at this point. I happily plug in my headphones, tuck my folders under my arm, and step out of my hotel front door…
… To very nearly deck it on sheet-black-ice.
I mean, it was one of those hilarious-arms-flailing-slide-across-the-pavement-and-only-just-regain-composure-beauties…
I possibly might have probably even let out a scream.
Like you do.
Now I'm aware, that this would have been the moment when any normal human being would have nipped back into the hotel, changed into more appropriate footwear, and begun the journey over.
But not me.
I seemingly quite like ice-skating with my arms full.
Which is what I did, all the way down Glasgow Quay this sunny (yet bitterly cold) Saturday morning.
I guess, it adds excitement to the day… (Note heavy sarcasm…)
On reflection, I actually don't know what I was thinking. I think the problem was that I wasn't really thinking. I couldn't really be bothered to go back to my hotel room and change my shoes. I figured it couldn't possibly be that bad. And so, despite the early warning signs, I carried in regardless and made a much more difficult journey for myself. I'm sure it looked pretty funny to any random passers-by (fitted with their own grippy type running shoes and looking pretty smug!), but by the time I got to uni this morning, I was way more exhausted than I could have been.
And my reflections today are simple. Because in more ways than Vans-on-ice, this sounds strangely familiar to me.
God calls me for a journey. He provides me with the right footwear. But I choose to put on the shoes that look good over the practical ones that were made for the journey. You get me? I choose the popular footwear, the trainers that look the best or the shoes that will cost me the least. And by His grace, He tries to show me that I should turn back before it costs me too much. There are the signs that what I've chosen just isn't up for the journey He's said is before me. But I'm stubborn. I like my choice. I carry on regardless. I slip and slide and probably blame God and shout at God and ask Him why He had to even make ice in the first place. And all the while, He gently walks beside me, stopping me from totally decking it and being patient with my infuriatingly slow-to-learn nature. And the thing is. God is still faithful. He still gets me where He wanted me. But the whole process was a whole lot more stressful than it ever could have been.
I have definitely had moments in these last year which have been a little bit like walking on ice.
And I guess today, my resolve is simply to wear the right shoes. To put on my walking boots. To make choices that are more in tune with His heart than my own. To remain in the relationships of wisdom He has blessed me with. And to be totally thankful that He never left me on the journey.
I'm learning God. I'm still changing. I'm still growing. And You are always, always good.