Deconstruction in Action

The contemplative path encourages you to look at yourself. I feel that God is taking me gently through a process of deconstruction.

I am going through some interesting times. I am experiencing unexpected moments of stillness, often in the middle of the night, when I find myself aware of His presence. In these moments I am reminded of things long passed. Things which I did, or was involved in, but have been long forgotten. It’s as though God is gently and graciously bringing things to mind with incredible clarity and walking me through them. 

These aren’t flashbacks. They’re not dreams. They’re gentle replaying of circumstances in such a way as if I am looking at them from a different angle. These are moments when the sense of His presence is strong. 

Some of them are things I would rather not remember.  Moments of poor judgment. Moments of selfishness. Moments of shame. Moments when I allowed myself to be influenced by others. Moments when I have no-one else to blame.  Moments from childhood, adolescence, adulthood. They are not all moments of explicit sinfulness, although some of them definitely are. Others are moments of simple carelessness, thoughtlessness, even stupidity, which passed without me recognising the gravity of potential outcomes of my thoughts or actions. Moments of carelessness when I didn’t consider the potential impact of my actions on others or on myself. Some are just moments when things went right, when they probably shouldn’t have done.

They seem to be moments when, were it not for the abundant Grace of God, things might have gone wrong. Very wrong. The kind of wrong which could have been life changing. Career limiting. Marriage challenging. Relationship breaking.

All of these things surprise me, because I had forgotten them. Some of them shock me. Some disappoint me. Some seemed trivial at the time, although suddenly I can see their potential impact.

As I pass through these stages of deconstruction, I feel incredibly mixed emotions. It is as if I am dealing with something important which I never knew was there. It feels good to have noticed these moments from the past, and to lay them before Jesus with a heart of repentance and thankfulness.

It’s as if God is reminding me of these moments and showing me how different things might have been if it were not for Him. It’s as if he is showing me that at that moment of potential crisis, He was there. Showing me how much His hand has been on me.

It’s as if He is pointing out that He has been watching over me. Looking over my going out and my coming in. Until he pointed these things out, I’m not sure that I’d noticed.

For many years I had a very special friend who was a great Christian. He worked most of his life as a bus driver. His prayers always started with the words ‘We have so much to be grateful for.’

He wasn’t wrong.

Richard Jackson is the Director of LifePicture UK. He is exploring life as a Contemplative Evanmgeligal

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