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December 2010


Random Thoughts on the 4th Day of Christmas

I noticed that the last two days I’ve two pretty good naps 🙂 It’s been a while since I’ve winked 80 times so soundly.  There were sporadic interruptions, but the pleasure of waking up refreshed is a pleasure nonetheless. 

The two older kids Gareth and Elysia are doing well.  They had their favorite chicken drumstick for lunch so that much have helped. When they are quiet it’s very likely they are drawing their own cartoons and crafting their imaginary stories.  I won’t disturb them.

Packed about 8 medium boxes of books.  Books I won’t sell! Once the study room is sorted out, I’ll be moving the book shelves out and make some space for a human. ROFL.

Found quite a few books I’d like to quickly read before I fly off. Nothing heavy but stuff which deals with the heart.  One in particular is on "discernment".  This is one aspect of the Christian life and human journey which is so critical.  Too often, we operate our of assumptions, or feelings and even intuition without being tempered and guided by discernment.

* * *

Slowing getting back into the "getting things done" groove.  It’s funny because every year since I’ve discovered GTD, I’ve always been talking about Re-booting myself.  More like giving myself a kick again and again.  I could have just decided that I’ll give up.  But then, it’s a good "system".  Good for people like me who enjoy free-flowing in what I do.  What I need is some structure that I can free-flow with more direction, and perhaps make it easier for others to flow along with me. 

I must admit, GTD has indeed helped me achieve much more than I would have if I was left to my own natural tendencies.  Simply putting things down on a piece of paper rather than keeping it in my head makes a big difference in freeing the mind to roam more freely on more important matters.

* * *

It’s been a joyous time thus far.  But last night, my hearts was brought down after hearing a "painful" news.  A loss.  It brought me back down to earth again.  Life is just not free cruising all the time.  The news reminded me of an episode May Chin and I experienced once upon a time.  Words won’t help.  We can only process whatever that’s stirring on the inside gradually.  We can’t hurry.  Some sharing might help.  But at the end, God was the one who held us tight.  And we needed each other.  Explanations will fail us.  Rationalizations of "what ifs" won’t help.  There’s too much mystery in our mundane every day lives that simple requires us to learn to pause, and then allow our strength to be renewed in some way to walk on.  We will never be the same.  But we can be better.

* * *

As I’m packing up my books, throwing away stuff, and deciding what to keep.  I’m also using this as an embodied practice to reflect on my own journey the last 14 years of full-time pastoral ministry.  There have been many "what ifs", occassional "Oh! wow!" moments, sporadic "ouch! It sucks!", as well as long pauses in between the next moves.  I’ve crossed paths with many through the years.  Some have remained close friends, others are more distant, all in all every relationship has made a mark in my metamorphosis. 

Hurts. Disappointments. Mistakes.  Mess ups. Missteps. Valley experiences.  Dark nights of the soul.  Pain. Tension.  Struggle.

Hope. Surprise. Accidental joys.  Providential openings. Mountain top experiences. Sunny days. Joy. Freedom.  Liberation.

It’s hard to be static when we’ve said yes to this dynamic life, or as a Christian I’d confess I have said "yes!" continually to a dynamic creator, who’s reached out to show me the redemptive way, a way which is life giving. In a world where it seems that death has the final say, I can only concur with a Rabbi of old, Mr. Paul: "Death has lost its sting!"

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