Saturday, September 01, 2012


So I have been back at work for 2 days, following thje most amazing holiday. I feel a little lost and unsure of what I am doing. This feels odd as I am now what the diocese call, 'an experienced priest.'

Part of it I suspect is that all of this is still new. I have been in my current post for just over a year. Much of the routines, people and places are ones that I am just getting to know.

Part of it though is something to do with holiday. Holidays are not just about time off, but from a Christian point of view, they are about rest, renewal and recreation - literally being made new. All this echoes the actions of God in His acts of creation as told in the book of Genesis. There is something in there about a theology of Sabbath too.

I am relaxed and renewed. I am not back in a place where I am ready to take on the stresses (however joyful they are much of the time) of parish ministry. I feel anxious but this morning I started to think differently.

This feeling comes from a sense of being overwhelmed at the task ahead of me. This is ok, because I have been reminded that I can do none of it on my own. My call to serve here is God's call, it's His church, and my work is about a pertnership with both.

This feeling of unprepared inabilityof anxiety that I feel, I have decided is good, because it arises from real rest and relaxation. The time off with my family was fully restoring and I don't want to lose that feeling! I had the time, I made the time, we had time... and that time and space was very good indeed... I need to make, to have, to take time in the midst of all that lies ahead of me. Part of that is about time with God, part of that is about time with and for my family and friends. Part of that though, is creating time, making diary space, to move more slowly, which is rather anachronistic in this instant world.

As a spaceship re-enters the Earth's atmosphere, heat and light are generated, as in the picture above. It's something about the interaction and reaction of ship, atmosphere and the forces applied one on the other at speed. (Sorry if I have got the science of that wrong.) The light and heat though are a concequence, an outcome and there is a very real risk is that the ship might burn up. Get the materials of the ship, the angle of re-entry and a miriad of other factors right and all is well.

I want to make sure that I get the interaction and reaction of work and rest right on me as I re-enter parish life so that the 'light' and 'heat' that are generated are not me burning up, but evidence of the purposes of God.

I need to get the angle right (How much am I doing? Am I giving myself and others the time they need?), I need to make sure that I am built of the right stuff (which includes what I make my life with - reading, prayer, worship, music, cycling, family, cooking. walking, sleeping etc).

A friend of mine, many years ago, told me that as people we are made to be human beings not human doings... I think I am going to try, this week at least, to live that way...

1 comment:

Tiffer said...

This is exactly how I feel when I come back from even a few days off. Interesting to note it doesn't go away!