Thursday, 3 July 2014

A Room with a View

Tonight has been one of those evenings, quite unexpectedly, when a moment, a single view, makes me wonder how on earth I have found myself here. The view from my window in Barcelona is pretty spectacular. The sea on one side with the city unfolding before it. The mountains on the other topped by a church. I can see the lights streaming out from what I'm pretty sure is the football stadium, lighting up the whole sky like some sort of night time rainbow. And right below my window is another sight I hadn't anticipated I'd be looking out on, a simple one with plain black lettering reading - 'St George's Church'.

Oddly enough I have lived in the roof of a church before and I loved it. I loved the coming and going of people below, the sound of the band rehearsing, and a two minute walk down the stairs to church wasn't bad on a Sunday morning either. But I never really anticipated that I would be staying in a church in this capacity. That I would ever, in my lifetime, be standing up on a Sunday morning in front of a bunch of people I don't know and saying prayers or giving sermons. It still has somewhat of a surreal quality about it. How did the atheist biology graduate end up training to be a church leader and in Barcelona of all places?

I think these moments are good, though, and that they come all too infrequently. Or perhaps we only allow them to come all too infrequently. A change of scene helps. It somehow throws everything into the light, making the ordinary clear again for what it really is, pretty darn extraordinary really. Its nice to be reminded that taking risks is worth it. Every thing that has brought me here has been a series of risks. The risk of entertaining such a mad idea in my world as faith and God. The risk of going into an unknown and unfamiliar church (someone tell me when that is going to change?!). The risk of looking foolish, often. The risk of seeking after doing something that I really, really love. The risk of being told 'no' when I thought I had found that thing and a million other risks besides.

All I can hope for is that these risks will continue to be worth it as they have been so far. At the very least they have made life rather interesting and it strikes me that it is a wonderful thing to be surprised over and over again about where you end up. As I wrote in my last post it sets the future wide open and full of unnumbered possibilities. I just hope to be looking out of another window in ten years time and thinking 'How on earth did I get here?!' That seems like a very good thing to hope for indeed.