Tuesday, June 01, 2010
The Coal Face...
Well folks, here I am back at the coal face after my three month sabbatical adn it feels odd...
In a way I am relieved to be back and that things have moved on in the life of the church in just an amazing way - just as I had hoped ad prayed that they would and I am indebted to 2 fantastic wardens, 2 fantastic Lay Readers, a fantastic team of clergy, a fantastic church council, and each and every member of the church for allowig me and my family to have that very very precious and enriching time.
But here I am back at the coal face and it feels odd because in a way so much has gone on so it feels like I am starting a new job as a return, but also because I feel daunted by what lies ahead.
What does lie ahead you ask? Answer - I am not exactly sure, but what I am sure of is that the process of discerning what the future holds for us as a church begins and ends in listening to and trusting God. So yes it feels odd, but also very very exciting!
I am excited because God has done so much amongst us in recet years, and I am sure that there is much much more to come!
It also feels odd because I am having to readjust to working and praying and trying to construct a new pattern of life and pattern of life and prayer that edifies and resources me but also stops me from frenetically and frantically returns me to a post Sabbatical state. So:
1. I am regularly keeping a track on my hours - I know that with 2 days off last week and simply 'getting back into it' I only worked 37 hours last week. and at the point of writing I have (inc the Bank Holiday) worked 8 hours and 45 mins this week. I am aiming for 40-45 hours a week on average with a maximum of around 50 hrs.
2. I will be taking 2 days off a week once in a while to ensure that, as son 3 enters full time education in September, I get to spend time with my lovely children. I treasure the time I have had with them over the last 3 months and I do not want to allow their childhood pass me by.
3. I am all the more clear what my priorities ad strengths are as a priest and as a human being and I will now ensure that I delegate more effectively to release others into ministry and to ensure that I act on the vision and tasks that I believe that God has laid out before me.
All of that said I am very tired already and days are full - tomorrow for example my day looks like this
10 am Said Eucharist and address
11 am Pastoral meeting
12 noon Lunch with a colleague
4.30ish Meeting about spirituality in local school
8 pm Meeting to plan a Thanksgiving for Marriage service (otherwise known as a blessing).
A few years ago, a friend of mine talked about the difference between him being a human being and a 'human doing'. Sometimes it feels like I have been more like the latter. And yet the principal of weekly rest from work for renewal, recreation, re-creation, and time with God and others is enshrined in the scriptures and is a mandate from God (Genesis 2:2-3).
If it's good enough for a God at the coal face to have some down time and enjoyment, then sabbath living is something I need to rediscover... especially at the coal face
I have just returned from 'full stop.' A sabbatical. This is something we clergy can take every 7-10 years. And yet sabbatical, sabbath living is what all Christians are called to live