When I was at intermediate school, I started to appreciate reading.
First CS Lewis’ “Chronicles of Narnia”. I enjoyed the five different books, with their differing analogies around Aslan the Lion representing Jesus, and the different Children’s relationships with him, in good times and bad, even in death.
Later, I began reading Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey - two stories about the Trojan war with the Greeks and the return home from that war.
In those stories, I became familiar with the Greek Gods and fate.
As I moved to Secondary School, I learnt more about the Classics, with studies around the Romans and their own interpretation of death, the Republic, the Empire, it’s rise and gradual decline.
During my Fourth Form year, my Mum was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, Secondary’s in the Lungs and a Brain Tumour that killed her.
I had lost my grandparents on my Dad’s side two years before and remembered that dreaded feeling of loss and uncontrollability and helplessness again. I also remember a simmering anger that I learnt to restrain and control.
At this stage of my life, I began reading historical fiction, particularly anything from J.A. Michener, enjoying the different cultural and global settings and gaining a wider understanding from his research and story-telling about how people live and die.
I learnt to control my feelings (or at least force them down) and became more interested in relationships with girls.
Although I was still attending Church, my life and relationship with Jesus left a lot to be desired.
I was still very angry at God, even if I wouldn’t have admitted that at the time.
I became increasingly interested in “finding God’s will”, delving into the bible, but not really wanting to apply it to my life.
At the same time, I was watching a lot of Crime and Murder shows on TV and soft-porn magazines.
My life was very conflicted and things were only going to get worse before they got better, but that’s a subject of further blogs.
However there is one thing I have learnt from this period of my life.
What you put into your mind, has a way of building you up or pulling you down.Listen to what the Psalmist writes
There's more: God's Word warns us of danger
and directs us to hidden treasure.
Otherwise how will we find our way?
Or know when we play the fool?
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
Keep me from stupid sins,
from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
These are the words in my mouth;
these are what I chew on and pray. Accept them when I place them
on the morning altar,
O God, my Altar-Rock,
Psalm 19: 11-14 The Message (MSG)What reading has shaped your identity?
What words do you chew on and pray?
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