Yesterday was a bit of a slow day in terms of getting out and about, but it was a fun day in other ways. I went to a Protestant church and I made some new friends, which is nice. In fact it is a bit of a dilemma, these are nice folk, but I think a big bonus of my time here has been the really alone stuff (unless you count God…maybe).
Today was a different story, clocked up some real k’s. My church today was a pond in a park with a fountain. Everywhere you go in Paris there are these amazing parks, with beautiful sculptures and gardens and water features. Really soul feeding stuff. I sat down beside one of these ponds and gave myself time to ruminate on ….well things that need ruminatin’.
So, a couple of photos. The Arc de Triomphe. It’s big. Built in the early 19th century, it was built to commemorate those who died in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars. I then walked the Champs-Élysées, actually I did a couple of laps, stopping for coffee a couple of times. Then onto Place de la Concorde, this is the place where most of the guillotine work was done during the French Revolution, around 1300 people were beheaded here. Pays not to get the peasants angry is my feeling. There is a story that the stench of human blood was so strong here, that cattle could not be made to cross this stretch of land.
My friend Michael has asked me to reflect on my spiritual experiences in different places. It’s an interesting question. I found today was a lot of processing things form my past, pondering my future, thinking about purpose and a lot of this business of really trusting God. This faith stuff is really interesting to me. It seems such a big issue in the kingdom of God, phrases like “without faith it is impossible to please God” yikes! It can’t just be about choice of who you will follow I don’t think. If it was just that, why wouldn’t God turn up, spread His arms out wide, yell “TA DAAAA!! Here I am, now choose if you’ll follow me or not.” That would be how I’d do it, of course I’m pretty sure I’m not God. Instead He leaves it so that we have to trust in something not thoroughly apparent, something not material.
Something I find interesting about this life is that, if I have my theology correct, it will be the only time in all of eternity that I will be able to live by faith. Take risks, make choices, spend my days, by faith. I’m guessing after I die there’s probably not going to be much doubt one way or the other about God’s existence. My time now is a different story, don’t get me wrong, I believe in God enough to bet my life on it, but He’s not here like my bed or chair or food, in plain view. So in all of eternity, this will be my only time to make faith based decisions. I think choosing to live by faith takes courage, that perhaps fear is the antithesis of faith living.
In yesterday’s sermon, the preacher talked about belief, he inferred that belief has to be more than intellectual ascension. It has to be making decisions and taking risks consistent with what we claim to believe, perhaps against the “common sense”. I like that thought. Of course it’s scary and confrontational, but I’m guessing that’s faith.
And on that note Beautiful People, I am headed out for my dinner. My love to you and big hugs,