My week off was a good opportunity to do some much needed tidying up of my house, and also of my mind/soul, whatever it is that is the inner me. Time to reflect on what is good and what is being neglected; time to to re-establish helpful practices that have been squeezed or even squeezed out in the relentless busyness of doing good, even Godly, things.
Back to beginning my day with PAYG (expect on my day off when I am allowed a lie in instead!). Back to ending my day with one of the oodles of Complines in the numerous psalters and prayer books I have. Choosing to spend around an hour a day plodding through a bit more of my jigsaw (at the stage now where it is systematic working through of pieces, and a productive hour might see ten pieces put in to it, and that's alright). Making sure that the cats get some quality play time, especially Sasha who has boundless energy, rather than just a few cuddles (though Sophie prefers that!). Back also to the regular rhythm of church life, with lots of folk needing pastoral support, with services to prepare and meetings to attend/chair.
Small changes, such as more intentionally making my 'down time' restful and refreshing and being more disciplined in devotional practices, undoubtedly lead to greater inner (and outer?) energy, which I hope in turn lead to 'better' ministry. Today's PAYG was a passage from Matthew which began with 'become like a child' and ended with 'come to me and I will give you rest' - I think these are two useful messages for me to keep in mind, the need for hopeful playfulness and the need for restorative rest. Will I achieve this long term? No, of course not, because we are all victims of our personalities and mine is a driven, work-focussed one. But I can keep on keeping on returning to the old routines that sustain and energise me as often as necessary in the hope that one day I really will find the balance.