I have exactly fifteen minutes to write this post, before I must leave for a meeting.
I'm reminding myself of my friend Stacy, who blogged about this busy-ness thing here. There is a way in which it's tempting to measure ourselves by how busy we are.
I know I've been thinking about this a lot as 2010 turned to 2011. There are a lot of things to do at church (surprise!), and in a way, at the end of those weeks in which I work more than the prescribed 48 hours, I feel smugly self-justified. Justification by works, baby! As if, NOW everything's going to be ok. You'll see!
But that's not how it works at church, I find. Church is about connection-- people connecting to God and to one another, and through the strength gained in those connections, making more connections, to the hungry, the thirsty, the homeless, the imprisoned-- you know the ones. And relationships, connections, are not things that happen because we put in the hours being busy. They're things that happen because we resist the temptation to scurry around and decide to be willing to linger, to listen, to ask another question, to laugh, to make some coffee, to put off the administrivia.
Problem is, the administrivia isn't going anywhere, is it?
I've noticed something about my work. I feel sure I've mentioned this before. Home visits are something I love to do-- when I'm doing them. When I feel the pressure of creating the bulletin, studying for the sermon, writing the sermon, submitting my mileage, organizing the event, etc etc, home visits feel like the last thing I should be spending my time on. But then I go.
Yesterday I sat down with a beautiful elderly gentleman. The first words out of this mouth? "What is the soul?" And we were off on a wide-ranging conversation the likes of which often cease after they give you the paper with the M. Div. on it. Moments like that, and I am mentally down on my knees saying a little prayer of thanks that I get to do this for a living. How lucky can you get?
The internet is filled with lists pertaining to the turn of the calendar from 2010 to 2011-- top ten movies (read the hilarious conversation over at Slate-- you know you want to), most memorable news stories, people who died, and, of course, resolutions.
Used to be I had one New Year's Resolution every year: lose weight. Since 2008 I've been embarked on a healthy program that makes that resolution feel unnecessary--it's happening, I'm getting healthier, I'm doing it, thanks be to God. But I have so many more things to think about than my avoirdupois. Like-- my soul. My relationships. My call. My family.
So, I'm going to copy my dear friend Martha and say I think I'll make one resolution that will positively impact all the others-- I know it will, because it always does. I'm going to put prayer at the front end of my day, every day. Meditation, quiet time, time to connect-- the Big Connection. When I do, all those other things fall into place. All those other connections happen more organically. I am held in a great reality that requires my acknowledgement. That's my resolution. That's my plan.
Happy New Year everybody.