Saturday, 7 May 2011

meandering update

Confirmation preparation is going well. A lovely grandfatherly priest in a neighbouring parish is helping me, since finding a suitable confirmation class turned out to be something of a non-starter. I have mixed feelings about that, as I think it would do me good to work with a small group rather than individually, but I'm not unhappy.

I was to read a book, a rather dry book I must say, with various World Council of Churches statements from just after it was formed throughout the remainder of the last century, on a certain topic. I read it, and thought about it, and on Thursday I met Grandfatherly Priest for a chat. He liked my approach to the subject (which is a specialty of his). I told him about the vocation stuff (see, I don't think that would have been possible in most classes) and that was an incredibly useful conversation, too, affirming while recognising the difficulty of my position. I'm still trying to figure out how musicianship fits into this; I can't not be a musician any more than I can stop breathing, you see, and most clergy I know have precious little time for anything other than their parish work. He was keen to stress that ordination doesn't mean being a vicar, that being called to preside is not the same as being called to serve a parish. But he also told me it was Good News. I swear I could hear the capital letters. What can I say? I hope to bring good news, Good News, Gospel, regardless of my official ecclesial status. If that means being the Good News I will try, though I know my own efforts will be imperfect. I think all Christians are called to that.

We had rain today. Not enough, I don' t think, but we've been a month without which is very strange for London in April. The vegetable garden will be glad of a proper drink rather than me hobbling around with a watering can. You make the rain fall and the wind blow.

I've been feeling really tired again. Politics are depressing me. Yesterday I cooked an elaborate household meal, which went very well. Today I was terribly short with Sweetie; the old habit of pushing at the boundaries because I'm afraid of being abandoned still crops up, when I'm tired enough. I wish I were a gentler person, less inclined to be critical, less inclined to remind people of their mistakes when I'm feeling vulnerable. He is more patient, more forgiving, and has been lovely to me all day, even when I was upset.

We are away for a few days next week which I think will help.


UKViewer said...

Another discovery of something said which allows you to see a wider perspective. The good news coming from someone whose role is to support and encourage, but who can see past the sometimes narrow perspective that we create, full of problems and obstacles to a clearer, definable path. I sense a wonderful affirmation of the vocation.

I am coming to feel more comfortable with church music, and am now able to sing fully and meaningfully, where before I was very restrained and self-conscious about the limitations of my own voice. This has been a revelation to me and a gift which is enhancing my attendance at worship in so many ways. This came from somebody who said its not the quality of the voice that matters, rather its the quality of the offering you are making through worship to the Glory of God.

Sometimes a few words or even a word are enough to let light into an area that you could not see for looking.

I'm glad that the confirmation classes are progressing so well. My preparation took a similar path. One to one meetings with my Vicar over three months, which gave me the background to Anglican beliefs and worship to form me for the service. I actually found confirmation a wonderful, liberating experience. I felt the spirit there, the laying on of hands felt heavy, warm and comforting giving me a burst of grace and joy which lasted for days.

Of course, the penalty was an immediate question popped into my mind afterwards, 'this is not enough' I want more from you? The nagging started which continues to this day. Hopefully the church is discerning it in a way which will move it forward. It's out of my hands and in God's, which is also quite liberating.

As for tiredness. You lead a overfull and committed life. And I sense that you want to do everything to perfection if you are able. Compromise might not be in your nature, especially where music and worship are involved? I think that you need the time and space you describe to try to even things out - to stand back and see what you need to shed. My DDO said to me early on. YOUR ARE SO BUSY! Why? You are doing to much and it is distracting you from what needs to be your priority, preparing and being formed in the discernment process. I took his message to heart and actually cut back, painful as I found it. Nobody likes to think that they are not needed - the key to this seems to me to appreciate that we are not ALONE. Others share our burden and journey, we need to recognise and share with them to carry it. I did and it has made a huge difference to my time, lifestyle and ability to study.

I will continue to pray for you, and hope that all of the issues within your relationship are also balanced.

it's margaret said...

God bless you --even in your tiredness, for seeking, always seeking the Good News.

You continue in my prayers, Son.