Back to Back Marathons? Please, God no.
One of my colleagues from the Diocese of Easton shared this blog post on his Facebook feed late last week and I have sent it to your vestry and asked them to expand the scope of what this piece has to say to all of us as we go about the work of regathering. I believe that addressing this to pastors sells short how we all have worked to adapt and adjust over the course of the past 17 months.
Rather than thinking about this as addressing pastors alone (or even principally) I suspect that we can find some helpful spiritual diagnostic tools and practices.
As the gears come to life in our faith communities, we have the opportunity to tell the truth, to slow the pace, and question everything as we enter the new normal.
Yes, our second marathon has begun, ready or not. Problem is, our bodies are recovering from the first marathon.
Maybe the answer is to stop running the second race.
What if we looked at each other and gently nodded. Slowed our forced jog.
And started walking. Together.
Side by side. No racing. No competing with anyone or anything else?The Second Marathon: A Thought For Pastors On Walking the New Normal–Jenny Smith from her blog bost linked above. July 2, 2021
Striking a balance between what we are called to do and what is calling at us to be done is prayerful work. The prayer of worship is not nearly enough for us to respond with clarity, hope and courage as we seek to understand the new challenges and opportunities that the coming months and seasons will serve up.
To that end, I am encouraging us all to take time each day to simply listen to what God might have to say to us as we remind ourselves of Elijah’s experience in seeking God’s presence and revelation in the wilderness as he asks how he is to encounter God and have the way revealed to him,
He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Ki 19:11–13). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Yesterday one of our community shared a story of an activity the Women of St. Thomas (WOST) did prior to my arrival. Each participant was given a tile and the means to decorate it. That is where creativity and individual expression came into play. What bound all of those tiles together is the sentiment expressed on them.
GOD IS IN CONTROL AND HIS TIMING IS PERFECT
I have every confidence that God is present, speaks through us as well as to us and will be right on time.