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Permission, Prayer & Play 22 April 2014

Posted by Dr Moose in Faith, Life, Ponderings, Role-Playing Games, Self-criticism.
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As I bumbled my way through the start of the day the following phrase came to mind, ‘You do not have because you do not ask’. The context of the thought is that I have discovered that a new role playing games convention is happening next weekend in Sheffield. I can’t truly say that 7 Hills wasn’t known to me. In fact, I found out about it months ago, but in the second half of last year April 2014 was a long way away. And now a friend informs me, via his twitterfeed, that he is off to it next weekend! I will confess to being somewhat jealous. Somewhat – I am well-practised in keeping strong opinions to the company that I trust won’t react too badly to them (like my long-suffering GLW).

Anyway, it was at this point that the phrase came to mind. Like many things that cross my mind, this is a quote from Christian scripture, the Bible. I have also shamelessly lifted it out of context as it’s actually about prayer, or lack of answered prayer. (And, being the BadVicar that I am I can’t find it easily and can’t be bothered to try to hard. You’ll just have to trust me in this!) Except, of course, that prayer, among other things, reveals our desires, our wants. By choice I would love to go away more often to Role-Playing Games conventions, not that I possess the money. But I also don’t possess the permission. This is not because my GLW is some sort of terrible, controlling harridan. Far from it: while having her inevitable foibles (such as a Farmville addiction which can tend to obscure those essential yet deeply-unappealing household demands), she is a loving, caring, selfless soul who already has freely given up much to allow me to pursue a ministry I know to both be a clear calling from God and a joy to perform. Whether we use them wisely or not, the having of weekends is one bonus of sector ministry. I already have two a year that I am allowed for my indulgences, which traditionally split between a Role-Playing Games Convention (this year, Continuum) and the perennial Greenbelt Festival, both of which I have mentioned in numerous previous blog entries. She may have chosen to promise to obey me at our wedding, but it’s a selective response at best on her part, not to mention a delightfully traditional, anachronistic and potentially abusive liturgical clause for me to ever consider taking it seriously.

So I haven’t asked. I might have wistfully mentioned it in passing, and dismissed it in so doing, but I have not seriously entertained the prospect. (And the last time I did try to get to Sheffield for a similar event the car couldn’t take the strain and broke down and is still off the road in (partial) consequence.) Neither can I really afford it. I am blessed to have the house, family and ministry I do, but I can’t hide the fact that the biggest bit of wish fulfilment (or answered prayer) I could do with right now would involve a decent size lottery win. It couldn’t buy happiness, and I already have that, but it could make an awful lot of things far more easy for us and others! (So, that makes me no different from any other family man with a mortgage!)

I suppose that the truth I don’t really want to admit is that I move gently through life, rarely making perhaps quite as much effort as I could. I read material written by my contemporaries in all sorts of areas and implicitly think that I could never be that good, or achieve a similar level. Despite my dislike for all those pithy motivational statements that seem to cross my path there is some truth, at least in some of them. I need to give myself permission. To push myself harder. I need to apply discipline and purpose if I am to achieve much.

But don’t hold your breath yet! In the meantime there’s coffee and family. I’d better check on the progress of both!



1. janewilliams20 - 22 April 2014

You do realise that other people look at what you write, and have similar inferiority-complex thoughts as a result? How’s the Balkoth going?

Dr Moose - 22 April 2014

Thank you for your kind comments Jane! In answer to your questions, 1) actually, no I hadn’t and 2) oops, where’s the week going? (For clarification, I haven’t checked, but am pretty sure I have nothing newer than what we wrote last. I really must check).

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