Monday, August 5, 2013

A brief look around

Blog post way overdue!  Feels like I have just come up for air. In retrospect, the spring of 2013 was one of those periods that I said would never happen again after I closed my office to active everyday practice. 

I very much enjoy giving presentations, doing training and workshops, etc, and that is what was going on. The payoff is a lot of very nice contact with people and a sense of satisfaction at something of value.  But it has to be paced.  It is actually dangerous if one does not learn that lesson.  I talk to people regularly who have yet to learn it, and I see one every time I look in the mirror!  The danger is in how preoccupying this can become, and how it can take one away from things like family interaction, prayer, and even recreation.  I suppose it even shares some qualities with addictive behavior, in that good judgment sometimes goes out the window.  I speak from experience when I say that the evil spirit does his best work at times like that.  So, with no ‘events’ other than preaching assignments currently on the horizon, perhaps the coming year can be an exercise in taking a decisive pause from it all.  The hardest thing in the world is saying no, especially to people that you know well, but here goes...

Apart from all that, this has been a time of poignant transitions.  A time of moving on.  A time of being aware that life truly does not stand still as it takes you through the stages that you knew a long time ago were coming.  Over the course of time, you find yourself in the middle of them, and suddenly when you blink your eyes, you are seeing them behind you.

Thus it is that youngest son has graduated, and has moved out.  Six grandchildren form the current contingent of our next generation, and are the delight of our lives.  Young kids that I have watched growing up in the parish were once in Youth Group or were altar servers, etc.  I recently presided at the wedding of one of them, have baptized the children of others, and am watching as still others move off to college.  Coincidentally, changes are occurring in my consulting work.  Organizations have evolved or are evolving, and long-standing programs are ending or are changing.

These are all the things of life moving along.  One says goodbye to them.

A number of other good-byes have taken place. Two aunts have died this year, and in June my mother died. Roll all these events together, and one has to develop a new perspective on life. Because if not we will find ourselves steeped in nostalgia and melancholy.

The new perspective is that of new life. And it is wonderful. Not only do kids growing up bring a refreshing energy, the death of elder family members brings its own new life in the forms of modelling, heritage, values - all the stuff of new life for those who follow. Now I understand the mustard seed a bit better. Very small but dynamite in the fruit it produces. I think our job is to ensure that the seed does not blow away. All of us have the responsibility to ensure there is something to hand on to those who follow us. It is all new life. And energizing.