easily distracted

As you might have guessed from lack of blogging, things have been a bit chaotic here. Pastoral crisis? Serious theological discussions? Praying, preaching, and talking about God? Well, some of the time. But also vast amounts of fretting over reports on wet and dry rot, what it will mean to sell a church-owned flat at precisely the time that the market has crashed, and many many hours trying to ask the question ‘how can we best work towards sustaining life in these congregations?’

Property always feels like the wrong way to be spending energy. But it simply has to be done. And when it is not done –regularly, with good financial planning and care — then we end up in a such a mess that it totally disables life (for a prime example, go read about the week poor Mother Ruth has been having).

But how, in the midst of it can we keep focus?

I find I have to keep reminding myself: it’s about God. It’s about God. Yes, it seems to be about towers, drains and rot, but it’s about God.

Today, God crept in through the sunlight. Through Peter and Paul, the very saintlike rabbits grazing on the lawn. Now through a steady rain that I wouldn’t have chosen, but that I know gives life and can soothe or exhilarate in turn.

But more than anything, what gives hope is the thought of people who seem to have the gift of endurance. Those rare few who even in the midst of deep conflict are grounded in joy. I’m not sure if I will live long enough or be changed enough by God to live that way. But I can hope; and pray. And give thanks for those who put up with me in the mean time.

6 thoughts on “easily distracted”

  1. It is astonishing what time, prayer, God and honesty can achieve over a lifetime. I have to admit that I am more given myself to praying: ‘What do you think you are up to God?????’ I am very much a sinner.

  2. Rosemary, for the time being at least, ‘What do you think you are up to God’ is probably exactly what you should be praying. When your sheep safely graze and all are safely housed, you can think about expanding your repertoire.

    Freda — beautiful, but not always easy to say in truth. ‘Lord, I am trying to be here.’ is a bit more familiar.

  3. Thank you for sharing this. It’s good to know you are not on your own! And I can feel for you in the midst of building chaos.

    People keep saying to me “How can you keep laughing when all around you is falling down – or leaking or exploding?” In a way I think its easier when there is so much catastrophe.

    And God is here in the midst of the mess. He is in Keith the boiler man who is the kindest man I’ve met for a long time, who goes above and beyond his duty. God is in my sister who took all our washing and did it and dried it and brought it back. God is in the rain which floods a kitchen and then washes the path from all the gunk from the dirty drains.

    God is good!

  4. The Buddhist monk who co-led the retreat I went to on Holy Island (the Arran one) said en passant that there was nothing quite so ‘now’ as rain! It was fairly ‘now’ when I heard it dripping down the lightfitting and on to the hall floor on Friday morning. However the slaters are ‘here’ this morning erecting scaffolding for the chimney repair so hopefully this will include replacing the missing slate which allowed the rain to penetrate.
    But seriously, I found that the teaching on mindfulness echoed much of what I have learned from both spiritual and secular sources. What has been most evident is the value of regular practice and a healthy routine (yes, one’s granny could have told one). Early to bed, early to rise, no alcohol, veggie diet and some walking, anchored the spiritual – or set it free? – in physical wellbeing.
    Before anyone runs away with the idea that virtue has settled round my shoulders like a golden mantle since my return, I have not maintained strict abstinence as regards intoxicating beverages and I’m not about to become purely vegetarian. however I’m seeking to maintain a more systematic prayer/meditation routine. It happens to be contributing to my wellbeing at the moment though I know from experience as well as theory that one has to persevere through times of discomfort and dimness.
    the slater just called in for a word during which my cat Phoebe decided he was Ok and duly rubbed round his legs. He told me that his family cat is called what sounded like Seefa. They couldn’t think of a name so one fo the children said ‘C for Cat’ so it became ‘Cfor’!

  5. It can be good to be reminded of what we already know.

    I’ve been moving in the other direction re: wine, though. Ever since the eucharist at Rosemary’s I’ve been pondering the place of proper bread, proper wine, and the deeper linking of eucharist and fellowship.

    (though I suspect we will need to look for occasions for this, rather than upsetting the Sunday apple cart just yet.)

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