Initial formational training has at times felt like a tremendous gift, and at other times a hard slog. As I begin June 2018 I find myself beginning a new phase of life. I‘ve completed the academic work for the academic year, lectures are over, and I have opportunity and much more personal freedom to choose what to read, and get some more practical learning through a summer placement.
So much of the last 2 years has been spent looking ahead at what is coming next, planning for the next essay, reading for the next lecture, preparing for the next service, that I find myself finding this change of pace somewhat disorientating.
People tell me to take it easy, to enjoy the time, rest and relax, and while I want to do that, I feel ill equipped for all the unknowns of what the future holds, and want to use the time I have now the best I can to be better, to feel stronger.
Last week we went for a walk as a family down the canal, never a fast walk with two toddlers ambling along. As a canal boat slowly turned the corner and moved out of sign, I had what I can only describe as a moment of revelation. I found myself realising how pertinent that image of the canal boat slowly turning the corner was for me. Having been in such an intensive period of life, this time is for me, to go slowly, to relax, to enjoy the path ahead as I slowly turn into the unknown.
I confess, that doesn’t come easy with me. It runs against what I tend to call my own pragmatic disposition. All too often wanting to get on with what needs doing, and struggling to accept that for my own wellbeing, the pragmatic thing is not always to be doing. Not always planning ahead, not always looking to the future. So I’m learning. Learning to be. Learning that sometimes the most pragmatic thing to do might actually be to sit, to wait, to be, to enjoy what I have, where I am, now. To meet with God as I slowly sail around the bend…and enjoy it.
Stay with me,
remain here with me,
watch and pray.
watch and pray.
Taize Community (C) Ateliers et Presses de Taize
Header Image: Birmingham Canal, May 2018