change overload?

there has been a lot of change this month …

the change of leaving the city of Rochester to work in Gillingham
the change to working predominantly alone again rather than being based in a team
the change of moving from a place where I know lots of people to a place where I don’t
the change from being on a staff team of a cathedral to a role of supporting parish clergy
the change of no longer having Tom around who we dropped at Uni last week
the change of Sarah having a new job, and missing the classroom
the change of seeing Gillingham at the top of the division

change has a massive effect
there is not just the actual change itself
but the emotional stuff connected with the change
the normal everyday acclimatised stuff you do not normally notice
but become painfully aware of when it is ripped away
and is no longer an everyday occurrence
causes change, I think, to be quite draining
emotionally exhausting
mind numbing

I am not sure if you can have too much change … well, that’s not true …  I am sure … because 3 weeks in to this new role  I feel drained because, I think, I have been overloaded with change. Change has been their everywhere I turn. At the moment nothing seems constant.

As a pioneer I think I am supposed to say that change is my friend, and that I crave encounters with her spirit. I really do believe that she is my friend and do crave that change in my community. I am also being reminded, however, what a demanding friend she can be. She seems to be ever demanding, constantly there, always calling, challenging, cajoling.

Over these last few weeks sometimes I have felt that I am just clinging on … and on occasions I have found the Psalms to be a great source of strength. Particularly, amongst many, Psalm 121:

I will lift up my eyes to the hills – 
From whence comes my help? 
My help comes from the LORD, 
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to be moved; 
He who keeps you will not slumber. 
Behold, He who keeps Israel 
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your keeper; 
The LORD is your shade f at your right hand. 
The sun shall not strike you by day, 
Nor the moon by night.

The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; 
He shall preserve your soul.  
The LORD shall  preserve your going out and your coming in 
From this time forth, and even forevermore.

That Psalm has been a great provider of strength when I have felt myself becoming over-awed by, or fearful of, the size of the task before me. There have been other times, however, when I have found myself having the conversation with myself that says something like … ‘just stay in today, it won’t make a difference, it won’t really matter ….’

On days like this I have returned to one of my favourite poems which I believe to be truly God inspired through Miroslav Holub which I have blogged about here before if you want to read the poem fully. For this point in time however, it is the following final words through which I have found not strength as with the Psalm, but motivation to get up …

Go and open the door.
    Even if there’s only
    the darkness ticking,
    even if there’s only
    the hollow wind,
    even if
                          is there,
go and open the door.

At least
there’ll be
a draught. 

That inspires me. It inspires me because it reminds me of something pretty cool when involved with mission with God. It reminds me that I merely need to turn up, open and genuine and simply be willing and available for whatever God had for that day.

Not a lot has happend over the last few weeks. But I believe two things: my help is from God, and whatever happens, at least I am causing a draught!

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