Saturday, 19 March 2011

Here I am.

Spoke to Sweetie about this vocation stuff, the other day. He is pretty spooked, but it went well. I did promise him I won't ask him to change his beliefs or come to church services, that seemed to reassure him some.

I talked to Gentle Vicar, said I'd been thinking about attending the area Vocations Day. He was completely unsurprised, and said he'd been meaning to ask me when I was going to start looking at vocation more seriously. A clergy friend, someone who has known me longer, who I love dearly and trust implicitly, was similarly unsurprised. She and one or two others have been brilliantly supportive, each in their own way.

I dropped off the application form for the vocations day the other evening.

It's all feeling frightfully real just now.

Meanwhile I'm nearly done the book I was asked to read as part of confirmation preparation. I have a lot of work to do where I am in addition to preparing for whatever comes next. I can't ignore the possibility of vocation to something different any longer, but I can't run away from where I am, either.

I'd better get used to it, I suppose.

Monday, 7 March 2011

More and less

Lent approaches and I've been thinking about giving things up, taking things on.

I don't want to let this just become about self-improvement. That does seem to be the gist of a lot of it for some people, and I'm not sure that's right. When I start to think about dietary changes, I can very quickly end up with a list that would have me eating perfectly, but making so many changes that I wouldn't really be contemplating God at all, because I'd be too busy avoiding fried food/sweets/meat/trans fats/processed food/etc. There's fasting, and there's neurotic behaviour.

I also don't really want to get into competitive self-denial, not even in the guise where I end up competing with others to get the self-denial "just right" rather than taking things to extremes.

I have the same trouble taking on spiritual practices. I go from "might like to try praying differently" to "keeping a Rule most monastics would find a bit on the strict side, while living a fully-engaged secular life" in about two blinks.

So I'm going to give one thing up, and I'm going to take one thing on, and I've given them both a lot of thought, trying to make sure this is about a journey toward God, not about perfectionism. I've only really told one or two people about these things and I'm not telling anyone else what they are. Even making this post is probably too far toward smugness. Enough.

However, I am going to devour me some pancakes tomorrow!

So there.

Then were we like those who dream.

I said I had more to write. I wasn't joking.

I'm someone who likes to figure things out by talking them through, writing them down, thinking about them. Sometimes I don't even really know what I feel about a situation until I've put it into words.

Last Wednesday night/Thursday morning I had a pretty strong dream.

I'm used to weird and crazy dreams of one sort or another. I generally think of them as my brain's maintenance subroutines, and best not interfered with unless they are causing me undue distress. I am hesitant to give them significance. I want to be able to explain things, and dreams are all too often inexplicable.

This dream was different. In this dream, things I've been trying to understand became clear. The answers were there all along. In the dream I was asked to write them down, and I did. I almost never have words in dreams, let alone write them. Words are for the day, the light.

When I woke, I remembered what I'd written. So I wrote it down. It still makes sense.

I was asked to write down what the church is, what I'm supposed to do there. I wrote:

1) Togetherness/unity in Christ.
2) Unconditional service.

For 2) I meant unconditional service of all people, serving God through serving God's children.

For 1) I meant the Eucharist. And it's so obvious -- there is only one bread, I've said that how many times? -- but I think, on the whole, I get so caught up in 2), in service to others and the community, that I tend to push aside 1).

So much else was going on, Thursday and the days surrounding it -- tidying and cleaning in preparation for a house inspection was just one of the things on my plate -- but this, this came along anyway. And I can't ignore it, and I can't ignore little itches, insistent scratching about vocation, priesthood even, any longer. All the same, I felt less stressed about the whole thing than I have in a while. There's plenty of time, you see, and other things this week make it quite clear that the work I'm doing now is just as important, will not be rushed.

The problem with dreams is that if I tell someone "I had a dream about X and now I feel very strongly that I must pursue Y" they will think I have come rather unhinged. I have, of course. But who'd be sane by this world's rules?

That doesn't help in talking to Sweetie, talking to spiritual directors, talking to all the people I'll have to talk to if this leads where I think it will. Explaining myself. I like explanations because I can use them to explain myself to others. If this is what I think, there's going to be a lot of 'splaining to do.

Even typing that, a part of me thinks "If? What do you mean, if? Surely you mean when?", and I stop, and take another breath, and somehow, there are no words.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

More house stuff

We had our house inspection today.

It takes a certain special something to be that rude, that condescending, and that oblivious to having just walked dog poo into the carpets we spent hours cleaning earlier this week.

But we did "pass" the inspection, so we should be left in peace to the quiet enjoyment of the property. As a bonus, the house is looking cleaner than it has in a while and, while I think it was well within what is legally acceptable before, I am happier with it in its current tidier state.

There is so much more that I could write, but I'm tired and I have work in the morning, so I think it's time to head bedward.