Saturday, 19 October 2013

in which I repeat myself with the year's themes of richness, reward and realisation of a dream

I am currently on leave from my congregational placement, a few weeks to concentrate on finishing my honours thesis.
Congregational life sure is complex, with all the reading, writing, organising, participating, gathering, teaching, facilitating, encouraging ... the being there for people to hear stories and help them know and live into the story of God's love for the world is a privilege, and it is demanding. Doing it part time means that there never is enough time to do what you would like to do, let alone do it well. 
I've written here many times of my love for this role in congregational life, and for my particular bunch of Jesus followers at Belair Uniting. They're creative and active and support me with generosity and care. 
This year, which I've also written about, my 'other half' of life beyond the congregation has been full and rewarding - rewarding years of hard work and sacrifice as I entered the dream that has ben slowly clarifying of being a storyteller, poet and minister. As I spoke at conferences and events, published a paper (forthcoming) and a book of poems, taught and studied bible, faith and creativity, I took a couple of giant steps towards - no, into, that dream. I became storyteller, poet, minister, confident of what I have to offer the world. 
Study leave is providing more confirmation. More, it is offering a gift. I keep choosing creative and innovative paths to walk, but there is usually very little by way of a living along those paths, early on at least, so I keep having to continue simultaneously along safer, established routes. And yes, the image of one foot on one path and the other on a separate path is both awkward and painful to imagine. It's awkward and painful to walk a lot of the time, no matter how much I might enjoy each individual journey. 
This week, I have had one thing to concentrate on. (Me being me, there's also a book launch to plan, a phd application to write and marking still to do, but believe me, it's far less than I've had to think about for the past few months) One goal for almost three weeks: write the best thesis I can. Finally, the writing is becoming clearer and stronger, and my fears about meeting the deadline are abating. 
More than that, though, I have more energy, a lighter spirit, and have time to put clothes away, clean bathrooms and vacuum the kitchen floor.

[update: and make the bed. properly. with ALL the cushions]

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the energy-sapping nature of very limited finances. There is also an energy-sapping nature to the busyness of life, which as a naturally contemplative person, I would love to be able to resist. Unfortunately, as a creative and innovative person, I seem to find myself rather often in ridiculous seasons of busyness that not only sap energy, not only limit my finances (which saps energy), but more, take me away from who and how I most healthily am. 

I guess what I'm recording here is the acknowledgement of this gift of time, and a realisation that when we are well resourced to live into the fulness of our being, we experience better health and wholeness, which is one of the goals of the dream Jesus shows us God has for us, and brings about greater health in our communities. I long to be able to live with such health and wholeness, and thus contribute to the health of my communities.
And I suppose I am looking forward to a time when I can live as I'm living this week, every week: preparing stories and story spaces, writing and sharing poems, equipping the church in its living out of the story of God, Creator, Wisdom, Spirit. 

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