Shine On

“Little Jesus are you watching me?

I’m so young

Just eighteen”

From “Shine On” by The House Of Love

I had one of those coming of age moments this week.  I realised that as many years had now passed since I started student life as had lead up to that point.  Clearly there was a huge difference between the little baby born with funny toe nails in ’72 and the teenager who strolled the University Campus at 18 feeling all grown up and excited about what my future might hold.  How much have I grown up, developed and changed in the 18 years since then?

Psychologists note that the first five years of our lives are the ones that are most influential in terms of developing the character traits to help us find our way through our numbered days.  Yet, the five years I spent at Uni were probably the days that shaped me into the person I am today more than many others. 

Those were days where I experienced so much of God through the church I belonged to, the friends I had and a relatively uncluttered life which enabled me to find time to read my bible, muse and ponder – to really seek guidance on many big questions.  Those were the days when I met Keith, Kenny and Mike who became three of the four closest friends I have.  It was during that period that I played in a band I really believed in.  It was during those years that Craig B sent me countless compilation tapes that became my soundtrack and introduced me to many of the bands who still get heaviest rotation on my iPod or who influenced those that do.  It was in those days that I met the beautiful girl who would grow into the woman I would marry and have a daughter with.

Even at 36 I often play a game where I imagine a younger version of me waking inside my body in any given moment of an ordinary day.  What would they think as they looked out through my eyes? What would they make as they looked at my feet and down on the clothes I wear?  Would they recognise the face looking back in a reflection?  What would they piece together of my existence by scanning the pictures, books and things that adorn our home? Would they be proud of the person I have become? 

I find it a means of recognising that, whilst I often don’t feel that different from the long haired version of me who wandered the Uni campus really learning and soaking up life all those years ago, actually so many of the big questions I had then have been answered.  It makes me count my blessings afresh and leaves me with a thankful heart.


3 Responses to “Shine On”

  1. 1 brunettekoala September 22, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    I feel the same way. I think the first 5 years of my life I developed personality traits that have stayed with me to this day…you just have to look at some of the photos of moments my family captured to see that the crazy girl that I am now was equally as crazy back when I was a toddler.

    But the five years I spent at university truly have shaped the person I am today. I met Jesus, I wrestled with my past experiences and how to move on from them. I met amazing friends who became my family…there are too many people to mention I met during my years of studentdom that were a blessing to me…I see each one of them almost like guardian angels, protectors, counsellors, mentors, fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers who continually reminded me who God created me to be when I questioned and struggled to accept who I was…

    I’ve always been the same person at the core of me. But it was my university days that gave me the time to explore me, accept me, see my place in the bigger picture of God, the world and His church.

  2. 2 allan October 20, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    you made me cry.

  3. 3 thestatethatiamin October 21, 2008 at 5:06 am

    …and you made me laugh every time we met. Thinking of you always makes me smile. Hope you can still see God in the midst of however life is looking all these years later.

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"The priest in the booth had a photographic memory for all he had heard. He took all of my sins and he wrote a pocket novel called "The State That I'm In"". From "The State I Am In" by Belle and Sebastian
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