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.
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 living arrangement.
New job description.
New school system.
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.