07 January 2013
So today is the first 'normal' day back in the office after the Christmas period. I have put away the majority of the stuff that has lain on chairs and surfaces in the vestry since I got it out somewhere in Advent. I have printed off the new set of rotas and stuck it to my wall. I have sent off a few emails on important or urgent topics... and realised the enormity of the task that lies ahead this year. Much of it excites and interests me, but it is all demanding stuff, and not everything that is good can be accomplished, there are just not enough hours or people. So priorities have to be identified... do I just carry on working through the 'to do' list that arose out of a very helpful review of ministry last spring, or do I step back and ask bigger questions, identify key priorities and then choose a smaller number of things to which I devote my energy? Spelled out like that, it seems crystal clear - the step back, big picture stuff is essential to identifying what the priorities are...; but then because it's my nature, I spot the interlinkages between, say, worship and mission, or pastoral care and strategy, and it all starts to crumble and jumble in my mind.
I suppose if I was a more holy minister, I would be saying that I would begin with a day (or a week or a month) of fasting and praying... except that fasting makes me grumpy (even if I could do with shedding a few pounds!) and I'm not quite sure what or how to pray that would suddenly clarify the complex reality of church life. I suppose if I were better at the 'Language of Zion' I would be 'waiting upon the LORD' (which often seems to be code for procrstinating or doing nothing) rather than trying to do the meantime active waiting trusting that the LORD is in it somewhere.
So am I downhearted? No! I am actually quite energised by the challenge of keeping things ticking over whilst trying to think strategically. I think I know what I need to do less of, it's just working out how to fit in what I do need to do that's the challenge!