It would seem so.
I was at my church cell* group today, and we were discussing the sermon from Sunday’s evening service, which was all about light – ‘you are the light of the world’, and all of that. We were taking apart exactly what it means, that we are all the light of the world, and began to see more and more that we are out there like candles in the hope of bringing light in the darkness to others, and setting light to other peoples’ candles. Anyway, we then went and started trying to write down exactly what this meant for us, and I realised more and more that this religion I’ve somehow gained touches on every part of my life, from what I want to do with my degree, to how I relate to the people I live with and the people I love, and everything else I do. I genuinely have started to feel that I have a purpose on this planet; that we all do – and that I owe it to everyone, God, whatever, to do my best to achieve that.
R, my closest friend and co-leader of our cell, was complimentary in the extreme about the way I’ve gone from staunch atheist to real Christian so quickly, and how I share that with anyone who wants to know – the fact that even though I still don’t feel that I know what I’m talking about, and don’t feel that I have any right to say the things I’m saying, and though I still feel that I’m a bad Christian because I smoke and drink too much, roll out of bed at whatever time suits me on a Sunday, never had any intention of saving myself for marriage, and don’t give much back; despite all this I want to do better, and I want everyone to know what my faith has given me.
I know you’re all, in the main, atheist, rational people, and you have no way of relating to what I’ve just said, and will probably come away thinking I’ve gone mad – but I have come back from cell today feeling renewed, given purpose, ready to take on the world and win, make a difference, do well, be a better person and be happier and share all that with those people who most want and need to know. And as we all know, charity starts at home. My big contribution to this new purpose? I finally put away most of the washing I put up on my airer a week ago. Good work…
*My church has a number of ‘clusters’ you can join, which are smaller groups made up of members of the congregation who fit together because, say, they’re all students, or they’re young married couples, or the youth, and so on and so forth, or just because they feel that they have the same mission or calling within the church. There are several different student clusters, each of which has a different mission, or focus – mine is called Inside Out, and concentrates on bringing the word to other students and inhabitants of Sheffield. Each cluster is about twenty or thirty strong, and they subdivide into cells of about ten which meet once a week at a members house, for prayer, sung worship, and a discussion of that week’s sermon and what it means to us as individuals. We meet as a cluster once a month for notices and to organise what we’re going to do as a cluster over the following weeks. Sorry it took me so long to explain, but people are always getting confused and asking me what I mean by ‘cell’, so there it is.