Sunday, May 13, 2007
I took a kind of Sabbath today It was my first Sunday deliberately “off” as in not-priest, not-in-choir, not-at-the-service since ordination seven months ago, and it felt really strange. While we are a team and rotate responsibility for preaching and celebrating, even when it is not “my turn” I seem to always be finding things to do. Apparently I have some difficulty “just being” in church even when I am not the one responsible for the service! So my spiritual director and I decided that I needed to do this one Sunday a month, as there was some creeping fatigue that was worrisome to both of us. As I am bivocational, some weeks run to seven day-ers, and burn out does loom as an always present spectre. And it has been a real romp of late, as we had a diocesan meeting a week ago Saturday, with a quick trip home to celebrate and preach Sunday, followed by a clergy conference early in the week, topped off by a region meeting yesterday. Since I live at the far edge of the universe, each of these events involves some hefty windshield time as well. I really love doing all of this. Truth be told there is very little I do not love about being a priest. Or about my life in general. God has blessed me richly. My biggest issue, as with so many of us, is that there is an abundance of things to do and a scarcity of time in which to do them. And I want to do them ALL and am not always so good at sorting which (at least by my lights) need me the most, or which I can let go of. So I tend to say yes to everything. And want to do it all to the best of my ability, and give it the most time I can, and so it goes. So this Sunday, I sat in someone else’s pews. My SD was being honored with a prayer shawl woven by one of her deacons, so I went to her service and heard her preach, experienced a different tradition and had absolutely nothing to do but sit and let God sink into my busy brain. It was bliss. But, truth be told, I am having really hard time not “checking in” to see how things went over at my church. Not for one minute do I think that the world does not spin on its axis just fine without me. It’s more like longing, missing my loved ones, making sure all the tending is tended…..I’m seeing here the wisdom of the off-day more and more! And resisting the urge to check in as a spiritual discipline.