Whenever I go grocery shopping my trolley is full of fresh fruits. I LOVE fruits – I cannot live without them! I’ve managed to live without chocolate for three months, no coffee for a few weeks, I can also survive without eating meat. But I cannot live without eating any fruits for more than 2 days! My mum used to buy fresh fruits twice a week when I was still living at home (note that I don’t have any siblings, it was just the three of us!). Winter starts for me when I buy oranges for the first time of the season and I know that it’s soon going to be autumn when you cannot get any decent peaches and nectarines anymore. Nowadays people drink fruits in form of smoothies. First I was sceptical, I didn’t trust to consume liquid fruits. I thought they can only be a rip-off the real thing! Until I drank my first real smoothie. Suddenly I was in fruit-heaven. I was haunting them, craving them, drinking them whenever I could. So when I was rushing to the bus this afternoon to get back home from Dublin, I stopped at a Spar to get a drink. I discovered a new smoothie: Cranberries, blueberries & cherries. I bought it, ran to the bus, took my seat, opened the bottle with excitement and took my first sip. It conjured felicity on my face and all was well….
Today is one of those very wet november evenings. I find myself in this weird contemplative mood. Here are some thoughts, while I’m sitting on my couch, listening to the raindrops falling down.
As I continue my journey with God I find myself very often in a lonely place, and in a place where I ask myself and God where I belong and where home is.
I have my home were I grew up – my parent’s house.
I had a home in Vienna, and there is a group of close friends I call home. Then I moved to Ireland and I found myself surrounded by new people and new challenges. And yes, I feel more and more at home here.
There were times when I felt lonely, times when I didn’t have the energy to make new friends. I wanted to be known and not always explain how I ended up here, what I do, what I did etc…..
Loneliness confronted me with myself – my thoughts, my being – and ultimately with God.
But let’s face it: Loneliness is scary! Do I want to face my problems or even God? – I escape it through watching tv/dvd, books, food and internet. We want to escape loneliness and sometimes ourselves. We want distraction, but there is nothing that really satisfy it. Nothing!
So we long for this one person who will take away all this – not only the loneliness but also the feelings and emotions that come with it, all the questions about ourselves. We as human beings need a place to belong. We need community, I am not denying that.
BUT: I also realized the beauty of loneliness. It is painful, it is scary, but it’s ultimately the place where I am human. My soul can relax, can take deep breaths, can get quite from all the noisiness and stress – a place where I can find God, if I allow myself to meet him. Every external distraction is stripped away. Suddenly peace captures my heart; sometimes just for a minute, sometimes a bit longer.
I don’t want to say here that I always enjoy being lonely. “Forced” loneliness is hard, it’s bitter and just not nice. But I try more and more to allow myself to meet my creator in my loneliness and invite him in. How? I do something very irish: I make myself and God a cup of tea and sit down and start to chat to him.
So this is all new and strange to me. First of all I’m overwhelmed by the layout. I can’t find my way around this web side. I scream “help” on the inside. Where is the map? Can someone please explain to me what happens if I push that button?
And above all: Why am I doing this again??? Ok, I love to read good stories, stories which capture me, inspire and challenge me. I respect people who can tell and/or write good stories, people who are honest and share with us their struggles and little (or big) amusing look-out on life.
And here is the first thing I struggle with: Do I really believe that I have something to say and that people are actually interested in reading my story and how I see and approach life?
I am involved in youth ministry where it is all about authenticity! And here I sit on my desk, telling you (and myself!) that I want to give this blog thing a try. So I take a deep sigh, another sip of water and hit: “publish”. Have fun!