It’s been raining all day here and the wind has recently picked up,too. It certainly makes good weather for beginning the sixty+ books on my course reading list, and I’m afraid I need to get use to this ‘gloomy’ atmosphere whether I like it or not. Most days here have been wet and windy; even a quick trip to Sainsbury’s for a carton of milk has begun to feel like an ordeal as I bundle up in boots, extra layers, and always a scarf. But it’s the best kind of weather for drinking cup after cup of tea and having the occasional ‘biscuit.’ I think personalities, also, ‘pop’ on this grey backdrop. A simple ‘how are you’ text on my archaic UK mobile adds more color to my day than anytime I can remember.
This morning I had the privilege of getting introduced to Woodlands Church and instantly felt at home, mostly because of all the little children and babies inhabiting the pews. Those little British accents would melt the coldest heart. The message wasn’t bad either. It addressed how we as Christians are not called to live lives of comfort, yet so often we plan our days and weeks around what will cause the least stress to us. This came at a time when I’ve also been reading Boundaries, but I don’t think the two concepts are at odds. We need balance, but if we’re living lives strictly devoted to comfort, then there isn’t real balance. Only giving our time and energy to others at our convenience is hardly sacrificial. And I’ve been so guilty of this. Just looking at my courses and essays and the countless books I’m required to read really caused me to consider how to organize my year here in Bristol. I could certainly spend every minute in the library, but I’m excited to think of what God will do if I give just some of this time back to him. Because everyday, every hour is His after all.
Well, that was me processing today’s sermon! So, in other news, classes start this week. The MA program here is structured so differently than U.S. courses. While I’m only in class four hours a week, there is immense reading and writing expected outside of class. It’s entirely up to us as postgrads to establish a routine and structure for ourselves. So, when the syllabus simply says “Tennyson,” we’re expected to have read everything ever written by Tennyson, and as many commentaries, criticisms, and biographies as possible. At this point I’m up for the challenge. Can I really complain about having to read everything Tennyson ever wrote?!
Alright no more loitering, back to the books.