Monday, 20 February 2012

Finally!....well maybe

I've spent most of this week extremely ill, a state which affirms my belief that airplanes are nothing more than flying incubation chambers for viruses and germs.  The down side is that I'm now horrifyingly behind in my work and I missed what appears to have been a fabulous Clergy Retreat.  The up side was that I had lots of time to gnaw away at the bone that is my decision about applying for the position at Church over the Big Hills.

I've been see-sawing all maybe.  I've spoken to my kids, who sadly all said "go for it".  It really would have been nicer if they had said, "Oh, Mom, we'll miss you so much, but we understand and support you no matter what you decide."  But that's just vanity.  Wise daughter gave me something to ponder though.  She said, "Mom, if you think that you will regret not doing this, then you have to at least apply."  Now that really got me thinking.

As the week unfolded, I was showered by messages of love and concern, and soup and jams and sushi(!) from members of the parish who were concerned about me.  When I got to church yesterday morning I was met with cries of joy "She lives!"  Over this week I came to realize not only how wonderful these people are, but how far we've come together.  I've come to know them very well, I know who gets along with whom and why, I've learned who rubs who the wrong way and how to intervene before things get out of hand.  I think I'm at the place where (with God's grace) I can begin to bring this group of people together to become more than a gathering of "like minded individuals", but to be Christ's Body in this place, and I think that  the trust and love we've built up over the past 3 years will make this process easier.

So, when I have been considering the whole area of regrets, I've been thinking less about the regrets of not applying to Church over the Big Hills, and more about the regrets I would have if I did leave St. Teeny at what I think is a vulnerable time.  I'm not prideful enough to believe that in some way my leaving or staying would sound the death knell for the congregation, BUT, over the past 3 years we've built up some trust and I think that the basis of that trust may be important as the future unfolds.  I feel as though the change process is well under way and if I left now, it may derail the forward momentum we've built up.

THEN, this morning I was doing some contemplative prayer and Jesus words about "follow me" and yoke sharing came to mind.  It was accompanied with a picture of a forked road.  I asked "Which path?" and the words "The road less travelled" came to me.  "And what is the road less travelled?" I wondered, to which came the response "The path of love."    As I considered this, I realized that the path of love is the path of self-giving and service to in this place...and not somewhere on the other side of the big hills.


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