Today was supposed to have been a snow day. Or at least a wind day. Each time the weather turned bad, I sighed in relief. The goal — having canceled all meetings in Rothesay– was to have a retreat day: prayer, bible reading, reflection. When weather gives me a day, I try to take the gift and not let it be lost beneath the usual to-do list.
That was the theory. But I did bits and pieces till 1pm. By then, the desire to pray was compelling. But after an hour, and a bit of lunch, I had to make a decision: Luke’s gospel, or tonight’s bookgroup book (I’d planned to read it on the train to Edinburgh on Wednesday, and then unexpectedly had to drive.) Maybe we will cancel the book group, though I. Prayer and scripture, no guilt. But alas, the weather is behaving ridiculously well, and no matter how much I hope for the ice to set in, we have sun and blue skies.
So, here is the dilemma.
If any member of the congregation came to me saying ‘I feel strongly compelled to pray and read scripture today, and I don’t want to lose the opportunity’ I would say without hesitation: then do it. Skip the book group. Pray when you can.
But at the same time, I feel that to make that choice myself (read Luke now, not Birdsong. Pray through the evening, skip the meeting) would be abdication of duty.
I still don’t know what I will do. It feels selfish not to go to the group, and it feels crazy to be thinking of reading a novel when the desire for prayer is so strong.
It’s a funny job, this.