So, any regular readers might have noticed a bit of a, well, lull in blog posts lately.
To say that the last few months have been busy would be like calling hummingbird ‘slightly animated’.
As if starting a college course and potential career change weren’t enough, we’ve decided to sell our house and move to the area where most of our ministry happens. As I said on twitter a while ago,
“bureacracy = my kryptonite”
And guess what all of the above involves bucket loads of….
It’s been a amazing and exciting time, but it’s also been a little tough. I haven’t been sleeping well, and I can hardly think about anything other than how damn powerless I feel. And that is pretty much the key point.
I recently took the ‘eneagram’ test at college. It’s a kind of psychometric test with a difference. The focus is more spiritual – taking a deep look at who we really are, what motivates us, what being weak looks like for us and what a healthy state of mind looks like for us. The results didn’t surprise me at all (type 8w7 for anyone familliar with the test). The basic fear inherent in my personality type is being controlled. So dealing with banks, solicitors, estate agents etc etc is not a fun time for me. Interestingly the recommendation for people of my type is to focus on serving the needs of others, especially the vulnerable, so I guess I’m headed in the right direction in life with the goals I’m pursuing (for more on this take a peek at this page).
The strange thing about this time is that despite all that’s going on, everytime I sit down to write a blog post, or think about preparing something to preach I keep coming back to a horrifying reality. I don’t really have anything to say. This is me we’re talking about, the guy who has an opinion about everything! Some of the things I’ve been studying at college, and some of the situations I’ve found myself in while ministering have left me with far more questions than answers.
As a shrewd friend of mine once said, “You have two ears and one mouth, act accordingly”. Having the time to reflect on God, life and love has led to times of prayer which involve more listening than speaking, more contemplating than interceding and more resting than striving. It’s taken a major change of pace in life to make me realise that wisdom is not always found in answers short enough to ‘tweet’. My glib ‘one-liners’ and robust (so I thought) systems of theology seem so paultry when faced with someone who has known nothing but loss. Or someone for whom ‘fatherly love’ is a subject which provokes deep pain and rage. Or a society with needs so great. Or with a God who refuses to fit in my neat little boxes. So I guess what I’m saying is, what have I learned over the last 6 months? I need to slow down and listen.
So much of what we call ‘Christian’ seems to leave God out of the picture. We stress and we strive to put on the perfect church meeting; we race around like headless-chickens trying to meet the needs of the people we minister to; our prayers sound like a written proposal to a financial trust. And what does God say to all of this?
Be still and know that I am GOD
Be still and know that I AM
Be still and KNOW
My new years resolution? To make my journey with Jesus look a lot less like striving and a lot more like being. And to dare to have big, difficult, nasty-ass questions. He can handle it.
P.S. Read “The Ragamuffin Gospel” by Brennan Manning. He puts it much better than me.
P.P.S. Take it from someone who knows, try slowing down a little. Once you get used to it, it’s beautiful.