So much of me misses and wishes to go back to late April. Live Selah again.
But it’s unrealistic… right?
Since that blessed pause, things have been rolling. “That’s good news, isn’t it?”, some people say. Yes. Of course. I am grateful. It’s pipeline for a livelihood, to help make ends meet. Yet, I recognise that more often than not, the ‘rolling’ is also a force that makes me roll away from Selah. Not just in terms of time (or lack of), but my whole spirit: frazzled, weary; and on bad days (or a string of 3am nights), passionately detesting marketplace politics, fleeting gains and affections; and feeling sick from seeing too much self-promotion.
I think and live too slowly and unambitiously for a world on steroids (although, erm, I actually am on Prednisolone myself…).
Maybe I should live among plants – they seem to be slow too.
The next Reading Fellowship (TLC RF) series is coming up very soon – “Active Contemplative”. I think it’s about being contemplative in the midst of busyness. This is exactly the kind of topic I should be reading, but for the irony: “Too busy, the next few months are insane. Sure no time to read anything. And I know I will feel really stressed if I attend RF without having read all the beautiful stuff.”
But I really really really do want to study Gregory the Great.
Against this life-depleting backdrop, God still delights in surprises, thankfully. And there have been a few. All involving people I love and respect. Am so grateful for them. They (and the thought of meeting them or hearing from them) keep me going.
It makes me realise that when I know I’m going to hit a bad crunch, I must pre-emptively (and counter-intuitively) work in life-giving stuff. Gives me positive focal points, and roots me in what is right and good.
One of the life-giving things: following my Ottawa pastor’s pilgrimage blog. James writes simply, and therefore, beautifully. I’m really enjoying his observations; I read them as questions for myself.
“I’m starting to develop my rhythm on this walk. At first I worried about being able to complete each stage and find a bed at the end. I now know I am strong enough to handle the toughest stage and there are many beds. The lights come on in the hostel right at six a.m. I am packed and out the door by 6:30. … Dinner is late around 7, usually with other pilgrims. I’m in bed by nine and I’m fast asleep before they turn the lights out at ten. It’s a good rhythm.” – Day 10
“At seven I attended the evensong service at the convent. They sang Gregorian chants and the psalms. As one pilgrim from Toronto said after the service “My soul needed that.” There was a sense of beauty and simplicity in the service and in their church building. The spirit of Francis and Clare was there.” – The Santa Claras
Another life-giving thing: creating shared moments with friends. Doesn’t have to be fancy stuff – a phone call or letter does wonders for the spirit. And when, by God’s grace, it can be fancy stuff, it’s special in the we-must-take-a-photo-here kinda way.
Possibly the easiest (to do) and hardest (to keep up) life-giving thing: catching the sunrise. I endeavour to. It renews my sense of wonder. Every time I do catch one, I almost hear God say with a smile, “Why, hello there sleepyhead. See what I’ve made today. Nice, huh?” 🙂
And. Sunrises so remind me of Selah.