Experiencing the ARME

 

Dear all,

When I began this journey, it was my intention to explore the possible meaning(s) of life through theology. I would plough through the bible, and digest each page chronologically before blogging about my discoveries of history, spirituality, self, etc.

As is evident, my earlier blogs received massive portions of passion and enthusiasm. As time went on, my analysis’ became more and more vague and my opinions were uninspired. I struggled to find the gold dust between the pages, and by the time I reached the 100th Psalm, I was sick of the whole idea. I rushed through the article (Psalms: The Musical) and hoped I’d reunite with my enthusiasm in Proverbs. But alas, I reached said book and…nothing.

What should have been time to read became time to bake lemon and poppy seed muffins (low fat ones of course); what should have been time to research became time to search for blenders on Amazon (which I have no intention of buying).

I am convinced that had I not done what I did when I did, I would have bid farewell to Contemplation Cafe and consequently, left you with the bitter memory of a petty, repetitive text disaster that was Psalms: The Musical, hence ‘The Apology’.

So what did I do?

I joined the ARME! (No, not the ARMY…the ARME). This was a weekend away in the sticks with my partner and his family. I was a bit dubious about the idea to begin with. Did I really want to spend a whole weekend surrounded by Christians? Did I really want to be away from my family the whole weekend? What if it’s not a theology conference, but some sort of cultish ceremony?

Simultaneous to planning my escape route, I packed my bags and hoped that at the very least, my distain and inability to hide an honest face, would not cause me any embarrassment!

I took the hours of traffic we weaved our way through along with the heavy grey weather as a bad omen.

After settling in and acquainting myself with the many others who were there, I began to feel at peace- it actually became more of an effort to keep my barriers up, and so I let them down…but only by an inch…who knew God would take a mile?!

Cut to: Good Friday afternoon, sat in the front row, next to my over excited partner, amidst a crowd of Christians, eager for the sermon to begin. Pastor Ivor Myers stood front and centre, and began with a prayer. The former rapper now reformed SDA did something that changed my outlook on the bible forever. Through a pseudo-interactive-storytelling workshop, we went through a story about a man who looked like a tree and had branches for hair that dust blew through. This tree-like man stood by the river. On the other side of the river, in the horizon, he saw his enemies running towards him. The man fought his enemies off and ran home. He lay on his bed, cried a loud passionate cry and prayed that God would cause his enemies to be defeated. The dust left his hair and he praised God (please bare in mind that I’ve given you the gist of the story).

My friend told me my eyes almost jumped out their sockets when Myers told us that we’d summarised the first 30 Psalms!

How could I have missed this trick? Drafting a storyboard of scenes to help memorise the bible is absolute genius! Especially for a writer. This is totally something I’ll be adopting for future studies.
Now I’ve captured this gem, you’ll forgive me if I retreat for a while to revise Psalms and reconstruct the previous blog?

So much more came from this experience. Spending time in the prayer room, I think, remoulded my mindset more than I even realise. I’ve been thinking a lot about the persecuted church (those in the third world and those close to home). I’ve been revisiting my attitude towards God (who I treated more as an experiment and a good writing resource as opposed to a personal pondering/experience). Who knows what the decades hold after just one long weekend?

I look forward to seeing you in ‘Psalms The Musical: A Revolutionary Remix.’

Keep well,
Nadia 🙂

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. I’m glad you’ve found something that has re-ignited a passion for the Word! Sometimes it takes unconventional means 🙂

    I’m sorry I haven’t been commenting as much lately, real-life has thrown my family a few avalanches lately, and I’ve been having to help make recovery plans and pick up the pieces from some emotional and health disasters. I have been reading and growing with you, though :). I look forward to all your posts!

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