I don’t know how many of you will remember this balloon, but it was given to me in 2015 when I had my first Acute Pancreatitis attack and I was off work for a couple of weeks. I still have it and Piper loves playing with it when she visits.
Today I hit what I call ‘the Wall’ when tiredness comes on suddenly. As I look back its the cumulative effect of holding down Circuit Superintendency at a time when the Circuit was three Presbyters down, throughout the summer and at the same time a sharp increase in my role as co-deputy chair of District. The former involved more circuit work, in terms of covering services, ladies meetings, church councils, Local Preachers meetings etc as well as pastoral visiting and admin tasks. The latter involved visiting new Presbyters and Deacons to the District and then being a part of their welcome services, District coffee morning and an induction day for folk new to the District. Its involved a round of circuit meetings, District conversations, a trip to London on District business, and so much more.
Throughout the Summer, which is normally battery re-charge time, we’ve also been arranging to move Manses to the other side of Burton and that brings its own stresses in itself. Hopefully, next week !!!!
To top it all yesterday involved an 8 hour trip to Penrith in Cumbria for a meeting. Thankfully I wasn’t driving, but a good colleague, Andy, did all the driving.
And then today tiredness hit; I even found myself having to park the car in services on the A50 and having a 10 minute nap and then a further sleep when I got home.
How do I cope with these moments which, thankfully, are few and far between ?
Firstly, its a matter of sleeping which I’m lucky that Ive never had trouble with. A kip here and there usually keeps it at bay but on a day like this its about a longer sleep. Already Im feeling much more like my old self.
Secondly, its about remembering why Im doing it; I came into Ministry not out of a desire to build the Methodist Church but as a genuine response to a calling from God who wants to use me, warts and all, to further His
Kingdom; a Kingdom of love, acceptance, tolerance and the teachings of Jesus Christ my Lord. A Kingdom, not separate from the world but within the world with all its garbage, shame and delight. A Kingdom of God reconciled with the world He created.
Thirdly, its about holding onto the joys of the moment; the privilege of greeting and preaching at the welcome services; the sense of fellowship with other colleagues, lay and ordained; the opportunity (as I had today) of holding a family through bereavement, and last Sunday (& next) holding a baby for baptism. Its about seeing the beauty around us, both in and in other people. Yesterday before setting off for Penrith a simple meal with Rebecca and Michelle to celebrate Michelles birthday (what a great girl she is). Its about having the love of Alison, even when I’m being grumpy. I couldn’t be half the person I am without her.
These are all the things that hold me, inspire me, comfort and excite me. I am so privileged to live the life I do, and I am grateful beyond measure, to a God who called me in the first place.
So my feeble personae keeps on; wobbling but never falling down. LOL