The fire situation here is very unpredictable at the moment. When I woke up, I thought things were on the improve, but I believe that it has flared up again - not so long ago, I saw four fire trucks head up my road. Right now, I can actually see the Gold Coast and the blue sky brilliantly, which definitely makes a change, though it's very smoky out the back and I don't fancy venturing outside. I probably won't be able to see the fire well again until dark, but I can tell from the smoke that it's definitely not dying down. I'm currently able to breathe satisfactorily, and as long as the wind keeps blowing away from us, I shouldn't have any asthma troubles and the house will be safe. That said, I'm still pretty nervous and I'm not sure I'm really up to going to school tomorrow.
However, I am heading out tonight, mainly because I simply don't want to back out. Those of you who went to YTF may remember a particularly troubled girl named Holly, and she says she's got a two hour stopover at Brisbane Airport this evening, so I figured I might as well head up. She had a number of screen names, but I only remember Luke722 and Y-S-I-C. I figure that if the worst comes to the worst, I'll at least get time to read and write and enjoy a train ride up there. But hopefully nothing will go wrong, she'll be exactly who I believe her to be, and I will have photos to post ... whenever I develop the film. Those sorts of things don't happen fast around me.
Seems not all too many people are that interested in the Olympics this year. I haven't watched any yet myself, and I hope New Zealand manages to win a gold. Just one, please. I can't make up my mind about whether I will support or go against Australia. Oh, and dysprosium, I hope you're happy. I fully expected South Africa to beat NZ anyway and I can't believe Graeme Henry is squandering the best squad of players any country's had in over ten years.
Made my 10,000th LJ comment earlier today. I am clearly a major spammer.
I'm not normally that positive about my faith, and I'm not really all too sure why. Probably because when I'm negative, I'm whining about other people and actions, but when I'm being positive, then it gets very personal and my faith is one of my most personal things. It's like bursting in on me in the shower, and in any case, I haven't really felt my faith all that deeply lately; I've mainly been extremely intellectual about it.
However, last night, I needed it. I was panicking and nervous and the fire trucks driving up my road did nothing to help me feel any more calm. So I just collapsed onto my bed and reached for the nearest book to me - The Imitation Of Christ. I cannot quite express the comfort and peace that reading that (sometimes aloud to focus myself) brought me. It really bugs me when people use religion just to make themselves feel happy or when they promote it as the answer to every little problem you might have, but sometimes ... when you really feel the presence of God, when there's nothing else you can do but simply give up and trust he knows what he's doing, you can feel a strange sense of peace and this reassurance that no matter what, he will not forsake you. There was nothing else I could do. When you can see the flames flickering in the night and know that they are coming in your direction, well, what else was there for me to do? There's no-one here to run to, no magical raincloud to soak the flames ... I just picked up that book and I read.
I'm really not expressing myself as well as I would like. It's hard to describe the peace and calm that came over me at the time, and it's a feeling that I haven't known before, though I don't desire to again be in the circumstances that led up to it.
From Chapter 21, Book 3 of The Imitation Of Christ;
"Above all things and in all things, O my soul, rest always in God, for He is the everlasting rest of the saints.
Grant, most sweet and loving Jesus, that I may seek my repose in You above every creature; above all health and beauty; above every honor and glory; every power and dignity; above all knowledge and cleverness, all riches and arts, all joy and gladness; above all fame and praise, all sweetness and consolation; above every hope and promise, every merit and desire; above all the gifts and favors that You can give or pour down upon me; above all the joy and exultation that the mind can receive and feel; and finally, above the angels and archangels and all the heavenly host; above all things visible and invisible; and may I seek my repose in You above everything that is not You, my God.
For You, O Lord my God, are above all things the best. You alone are most high, You alone most powerful. You alone are most sufficient and most satisfying, You alone most sweet and consoling. You alone are most beautiful and loving, You alone most noble and glorious above all things. In You is every perfection that has been or ever will be. Therefore, whatever You give me besides Yourself, whatever You reveal to me concerning Yourself, and whatever You promise, is too small and insufficient when I do not see and fully enjoy You alone. For my heart cannot rest or be fully content until, rising above all gifts and every created thing, it rests in You."
That was ... different. I felt rather awkward saying all that. But, so.
This coming week looks like it shall be busy. I haven't done the work I wanted to this weekend, but I think I was too jittery to do it. And to think that yesterday, I was annoyed at the wind simply because it was being noisy and messing up stuff in my room while I was on the phone to purplicious ... I didn't even realise the smoke was coming from fire so close. I thought the fire was down to the south and the wind was just blowing up to us. Oh silly me. Anyway. My faher's just called so I better go.
--- 3:24pm ---
Robby and I were just outside checking on the fire situation, and it is definitely looking better. We think that the fire closest to us has been put out, though we can't see all of it and night will allow us to see any remaining flames better. There's still some major smoke billowing from some points though. Ah well, at least I'm feeling somewhat calmer now.
I am also very amused that Bay Of Plenty beat Auckland and won the Ranfurly Shield. Ahahahaha! Take THAT, Auckland!