It feels like forever since I posted something and in fact it has been a couple of months since I wrote anything beyond my sermon or a Sunday reflection for the weeks I’m not preaching and I haven’t even posted my sermons for the past few weeks. I’m not sure of the reason, except perhaps I just needed a break. I didn’t intentionally stop, I’m not withholding or withdrawing from anything (that I’m aware of but that can be a stress response from me so I do spend time pondering it), I just haven’t had much to say.
I have been doing a lot of reading and observing and learning so perhaps I’m just letting stuff settle in. I’ve been seven months in a new parish, five months in a new house and life is on a fairly even keel right now. I am grateful for a steady pace. It’s how I function best. But I also know that I can go a bit too slow for some, that I procrastinate as a way of avoiding even the potential for conflict. And sometimes in my avoidance I actually can create conflict, the very thing I’m avoiding. We humans are peculiar creatures, aren’t we?
I have a dear friend who says, “life was so much simpler before I was so self-aware.” Such a true statement. Doing the work, making the time to ponder our reactions and ways of moving through this world is challenging. And it is the best way to become more compassionate toward others. Deepening our capacity for compassion is the reason I started this blog. And so, looking back over the time I’ve been posting I realize that my own awareness of Whose and who I am has continued to grow. They (I’m not sure who ‘they’ are but I know they said this) say that the best sermons are given to ourselves. As I write and preach, praying that my words are useful and edifying, I grow too. And to my prayer I add the request that this growth never stops. For each of us and for all our sakes.
In all of the conflict and danger and trauma of our broken world, we cannot see peace and hope if we do not have it within ourselves. If I am not at peace with who I am, I cannot be at peace with who you are. If I do not have hope that I will continue to grow and be continuously transformed into God’s beloved, how can I have that hope for anyone else? Intentional time and the awareness of God’s presence with me are necessary components as I follow Jesus in bringing light and Love to the small corner of the world I inhabit.
I fret that talking of my ongoing journey will come across as self-centered so I pray I can clearly communicate that in my vocation as priest and writer I cannot walk with you in your journey of continuously becoming God’s beloved if I am not also on the same path. God’s gifts and blessings are never for a single individual but given through one for the benefit of all. God’s gift of love for us is to be shared so I preach and write with the hope that you will find God’s love in my words and in me as we walk in relationship with each other.
So, I’ll get to writing again and I’m so grateful you are willing to journey with me. Together, as God’s Love grows in us we can leave less and less room for darkness in this world.