My time of sabbatical back in the fall was a time of recharging. By the end of it, I felt a renewed sense of energy and joy for ministry. Not realizing how empty I had been, it amazed me to feel so full of life.
That sense of fullness of life (aren't those words of confession - yearning for fullness of life in Christ's presence?) drove me into my new call, promising enough spirit to meet the demands that I knew would be there to greet me at my new office door. I had lived several weeks at a different pace that was shaped more by my family than anything else. I rested and played and studied, over and over again.
Three full months later, that sense of fullness of life, renewed energy and joy, had nearly disappeared about a week ago! I am embarrassed by my lack of wisdom - lack of something - to have forgotten to breathe deeply and pay attention.
I had forgotten about the pace. I had forgotten that both slowing down and speeding up are actions that must live in the same body to experience fullness of life in Christ.
Last week was a busy one, shaped by two funerals. And I re-discovered what a gift it is to do this work. To be one who is invited into a family's life to speak a word of hope and promise into sadness. It is true gift to be present with those who grieve; to learn from their faith; to encourage them more deeply into it; to give great thanks with them for the life of the one who will be so dearly missed.
Early yesterday morning in my Sunday morning stroll through the psalms, I met a verse I have surely read before but not noticed. "Be at rest, once more, O my soul: for the Lord has treated you kindly." (Psalm 116:6)
I thanked God for these words to help me breathe deep and pay attention. I thanked God for this work God has given me to do, and for the wisdom (although this kind of wisdom seems to come and go!) to tend to the pace of everyday life.