Monday, August 16, 2010


For my birthday a friend of mine gave me a box of angel cards. The brief explanation of these cards is that you prayerfully/meditatively pull out one and carry it with you for awhile. I usually pull one out every few days, sometimes finding the word pushes me, sometimes finding it supports me and to be honest sometimes wondering what that word has anything to do with at all.

I'm sure it can all be rationalized away, but I have found it to be a helpful and sometimes even enlightening exercise. The word I pulled right before leaving on vacation was 'play'.

Last week I went to see my Spiritual Director where a large part of our conversation was about the unease I was feeling about my position as Head of Staff. I love the church and feel called here, my concern is that:
I am not getting enough done,
I don't know enough people,
I'm not seeing far enough into the future,
I'm not being emergent/traditional/visionary/missional/hospitable/spiritual/practical enough.

Her words in return were helpful, including the words of wisdom I posted yesterday that begin with: Above all, trust in the slow work of God.

Above all.

In a classic turn of 'Take my advice, I'm not using it' - I had forgotten what I have said to so many others who feel like more should be getting done in their 1st, 2nd, 3rd years of ministry - building relationships and trust takes time. I love my emergent friends, but sometimes their constant buzz in my ear has me anxious to push because I don't feel like I am doing enough. At times like these I need to remember to step away from the Twitter feed. :)

The Spiritual Director also reminded me of how much is new in my life.

New home.
New community.
New living arrangement.
New identity.
New church.
New people.
New expectations.
New job description.
New school system.
New relationships.
New ways to relate.
New, new, new, new, new....

I mentioned that it was hard to find balance and contentment with all of these new things. She mentioned that in some traditions the symbol for balance is a hummingbird. A hummingbird looks balanced, but of course a closer look will show how much work is going into keeping that balance.

It was so helpful meeting with her. No easy solutions. Balance will take work. But hopefully her reminder of how much is new will be enough for not just my mind to hear, but my heart to hear also. Above all, trust in the slow work of God...

The day after meeting with her I returned to my office, I put back my previous angel card and accidentally pulled out two more instead of one. Once I read them I knew I was to keep them both and will walk with them for awhile.... trying to keep my balance, of course.


Deborah said...

Oh, my! I hear you on that whole list of new things... and in the advice from your spiritual director.

Prayers of solidarity - and thank you! for the reflections!

Katie Z. said...

It is AMAZING how long it takes to get to know a community. It is always important to remember God will take God's time in getting us to where we need to be. Sometimes it happens overnight, most times it does not.

Those angel cards are BEAUTIFUL!

Songbird said...

That poem has been cropping up in my life a lot recently, and since I am always in a hurry, it seems very, very important to pay attention to it, even though patience is counter-intuitive for me.
Love this post, thank you for it.

Sue said...

Thank you. This post was more timely than you can ever know.

Juniper said...

This is a great post. Thanks so much for expressing these things that are, I think, on many hearts.

revkjarla said...

Yes. Very timely. Last week, I wrote about doing yoga, and how my teacher is really focused on balance, and I can't balance to save my life. Which is precisely why I need to work on balance, both inner and physical.

Peace to you...

revkjarla said...

p.s. I have those angel cards, too, except they are in Spanish. I love them--I've had them for twenty years!