I first learned of the word juxtaposition from photographic books, the use of which was to imply a contrast between two things in an artistic manner. This week in Dubai I have been experiencing a juxtaposition of a spiritual manner.
Landing in an Islamic country, albeit a very westernised one, the images of this religion abound. From the call to prayer several times a day to the minarets visible from my hotel balcony the reminders of a faith other than my own thrust at me.
I have written before about our weak western will and the lack of spiritual discipline that our pleasant but busy lives bring to us, seeing how intense other religions are in manners of prayer and fasting compared to, well, myself. This time however I have tried to use these prompts to remember my own faith; the call to prayer reminding me of my calling and need to prayer and the signs of their faith to bring me to recognition of my own.
The myriad of temptations still abound, with dinners & drinks opportunities with colleagues the order of the day. It is not easy to dodge these situations much less to participate practically and without causing a fuss.
Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me
Another benefit, they have really good vegan food around here!
“If you do not want evil thoughts to be active within you, accept humiliation of soul and affliction of the flesh; and this not just on particular occasions, but always, everywhere and in all things.” St Mark the Ascetic