Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Wall

Some of you have noticed a dearth of posting this past week.... What can I say? Half-way through the January Focus Session I hit the wall. Not entirely surprising, really, and not horrific. (I did manage to finish a paper, attend class, do fairly well on a test, start two more papers... still....) Just a touch of lethargy, melancholy and an increasing tension in my back. Enough, though, to make the last week a degree or two less lustrous than the first.

In my last "personal" post I talked about the novelty of the monastic lifestyle during these three-week intensives. I probably shouldn't have spoken so soon. Not that I don't enjoy it, and not that it doesn't really resemble some monastic project... just that my unbridled approval and expectation of ease was a little naive. These three weeks is work. Even work I love is still work.

There have been highlights as well - but much smaller. Perhaps the proverbial wall can serve to recenter me, help get my high head down to the ground, where subtle contours exist. A treated Wendy's Frosty; a back-scratch in passing; a shoulder-rub before class; two or three really good sentences for a difficult paper. Some are rewards for perseverance. Most, though, are the little affections and supports of a community genuinely interested in the formation of the individual. In what other job would I have co-workers and instructors show such casual, sincere concern for my personal well-being?

There are some things about working for the church that are really good.

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