Month: June 2010

A big day out

Tuesday was Gareth’s big day out – a day spent in London consisting of culture, friendship, and a name worthy of a Wallace and Gromit film.

We kicked off at the British Museum with a guided tour of some of the exhibits which relate to the Bible. I was impressed by the speed at which we went round, as my parents always do museums far too slowly to keep my interest. It did strike me just how much archaeological stuff is pottery, which makes for a very monochrome museum, but it was nevertheless interesting to see some of the details of the lives of people in Biblical eras. It helped to drive home the reality of who these people were, and the world in which they lived.

After lunch it was on to the Tate Britain, where the art lover within me failed to materialise. I didn’t understand any of the art, but I did think about art for the first time. I did actually quite like one of the abstract pieces, but my artistic observations were along the lines of ‘It’s very big’ or ‘Oh, that’s green’! I’m a little confused about what art is after being told it doesn’t need to look nice and doesn’t need to require skill, but I think art is anything that’s been created by someone inside the art world. By the same (somewhat cynical) token, good art seems to be anything which has caught the eye of someone influential enough to display it somewhere.

For me, the highlight of the day was walking past the houses of parliament and looking at the security arrangements. I didn’t dare photograph them too closely for fear of being arrested, but I was fascinated. I can only imagine that having a whole bunch of new MPs must have caused chaos for the security arrangements! It’s a small thing, but seeing a van being let into nearby Downing Street was, bizarrely, a slightly special moment.

The day was my first experience of tourism in London, and the related joy of the tube (or underground tram network, as it’s been aptly described). It was a nice day, it did broaden my mind a little bit, and I got to take photos of colourful elephant statues and equally colourful sword-wielding soldiers. The only disappointment was that I expected Trafalgar Square to be a bit bigger, but considering it’s prime London land then I must admit £240 is a cracking price for it! Monopoly will never be the same again.

Resolutions for a new… June

When I posted my new year’s resolution on this blog I vaguely intended to review it every 3 months, as per some advice I came across somewhere online. I evidently haven’t done that, because I don’t recall mentioning it once in the 5 months since I posted it.

My resolution was to consistently go to bed by around 11pm, which is much earlier than was usual for me. I’ve made good progress with this, and although I don’t treat 11pm as a strict bedtime, it has been a helpful guide for me. The aim wasn’t to create an arbitrary rule in my life, but to change my habits so I could be more productive. It seems to be working well, with some housemates still apparently unable to understand what has happened to me. All the outcomes I hoped this resolution would produce do seem to be in evidence to some degree or another, so while I intend to keep going with early bedtimes I think it may now be useful to focus on a different resolution.

My new resolution is that I resolve to spend quality time in prayer every day. I’m a fan of being specific in goals, as it helps us to reach them and to know we’ve reached them, but I’m not going to include any quantitative measures in this resolution (other than the phrase ‘every day’, which is suppose is inherently quantitative). This resolution is really all about quality. Each day I want not only to pray, but to ‘pray until I pray’, to borrow a phrase. I want to wrestle in prayer, to pray persistently, to be joyful in prayer. Those are all things I suppose are present in all Christians’ prayer lives at some point, but I want to develop the habit of setting aside serious time for serious prayer, with the expectation of the quality increasing. I crave your prayers while I undertake this resolution!