On Friday it was great to meet up with Jeremy who is now vicar at St Paul’s Stratford. We trained together on the Pioneer track and Jeremy’s parish is just about to grow from 5000 to 23000 when the Olympic village opens to those renting and buying.
It was great, and welcomed, to share with each other where we were and the options ahead of us, life and stuff … all over good coffee from grind in Westfields. Apart from anything else it was good to catch up with my good friend and this was the best way to end my week.
For various reasons my week today started with a long walk in and around Edenbridge. I woke distressed by something I experienced over the weekend and realised I needed to give myself space and time to reflect on what was happening. It just so happens today I had already booked to see my spiritual director, Sister Diane, at Edenbridge. Edenbridge was also the location of my pre-ordination retreat so I thought it was as good a place as any for me to find space and so I walked a walk I did on the day before my ordination.
I cant say my head massively cleared … there was no bolt of clarity, but then my experience of God has been that the slow steady stuff has stayed with me, and that the lightning bolt type stuff is effervescent in its timescale.
My time with Sr Diane was, however, golden time as far as enabling me to reflect on what is happening and where God is in my everyday life. Sr Diane was pretty tough with me today on getting me to identify how I was feeling and what God may be saying through that. She then pushed me into what I needed to do next in response to the leading of God.
I am always amazed at the clarity, wisdom and prophetic edge that Sr Diane brings …. a pretty good way to start the week.
If there’s a moral to my post – speak with people. Not often, but now and again, some young person has asked the ‘how have you kept going’ question. There are no easy answers – but PART, and only part, is other people and making ourselves accountable to others. I don’t mean bet over the head accountability – but more of having relationships where people are given permission to challenge and question what you are doing as well as the right to make suggestions.
In my opinion we can do lots of prayers, and lots of bible study, and even lots of mission … and all those things are great. But …. I think I have found that if we do not bring people around us who care enough to challenge and even upset us then what we do does not seem to last very long.
So people … you know who you are – THANKS!