Thursday, October 04, 2007


I apologize for my absence. Don't take it personally. Really.

It's not you; it's me.

I've been in meetings for weeks now. Really. A week-long meeting of church leaders (one of which, apparently, I'm becoming with my new as-yet-un-assumed position), followed by a weekend Young Adult Retreat (fabulous, but still work), followed by another weekend ministers' event in Portland, and a week-long meeting of Western US ministers (of which I am, or at least used to be, or could still be considered, for a while yet). I preach this Sunday, and then I'm off for another week of meetings with my soon-to-be new boss and co-worker. Then I return to pack up my house to move, and then the annual regional church conference in Portland the next weekend. And somewhere in all this, I have to start preparing for two Seminary classes in January (and forget about November/December, as immersion language classes will take up those weeks).

I don't mean to complain... or, rather, I wish I didn't sound like I was complaining, but really, part of me is. And I worry, too, that this is the kind of life I've signed up for with my new job as the regional president of Europe. Part of me is getting worried that I will spend the next five-to-eight years of my life exhausted, and that makes me depressed. And, of course, depression isn't much of an upper in itself.

I knew I was giving up the life of a congregational minister when I first started working for the church (although I didn't realize at the time how much I would miss it). And I knew that in taking this job in Europe, I'd be giving up a large chunk of the rewards of intimate involvement in a congregation - even as a consultant or support minister. But I'm worried now that I won't even be able to enjoy congregations at all! I'll be spending all my time in meetings, or in transit from one guerrilla-ministry to another (in-and-out before they realize what hit them).

On a note of delightful self-indulgence, though, yesterday I had a full-body massage - my first in more than ten years. That was probably the most human contact I've had in months, and that long overdue. It is amazing what uninterrupted human touch can do - and occasions like this defy claims that humans are purely spiritual beings with no significant connection to embodied existence. Even thinking about it now calms me, reminds me that all is not harried or hectic, that there is peace possible in the world, in my life, in my career. It reminds me that part of discipleship is forgiveness, and that I have to practice forgiveness even (especially?) with myself. "Don't expect the world, Christian. Give yourself time - to see what is needed and what you can do. You can't honestly (fairly?) expect more from yourself."

So, you see why I haven't been blogging. It hasn't been for lack of things to say or talk about (the Young Adult Retreat needs a thousand words, itself!). I've just been distracted, away from home, with infrequent internet access, and in need of extra sleep.

It's not you; it's me.

So... I guess now would be a good time to transition. Let's see... where did I leave off?

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  • grace grace grace.
    no excuses necessary, go ahead and write whenever you feel like it

    By Blogger Shannon, at 9:04 AM  

  • Excuses, excuses, excuses,
    no grace period for you to slack off on your spiritual duties, bub.

    By Blogger Jonathan S., at 9:45 PM  

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