Friday, October 5, 2012

The Power to Say No: A Journey

I'm surprised I haven't found this plasted across my Treehouse Door..

A number of weeks ago, the middlers, super middlers and the interiddlers gathered in the spacious, sprawling Common Room on the third floor during our free time (which is commonly known as lunch time) for the wonderful presentation by our Field Ed folks on "Brace Yourself (blank) is getting Real" or what is more known as Internship Orientation. They attempt to make this as cheerful as possible, with colorful paper smiling up at us loaded with tons of information.

Dr. Baeder was in the midst of answering question when the subject of what a typical (insert laughter here) week within the parish/congregation might look like. This translated into a 55 hour work week of fun. I swiveled around in my chair to high five my other awesome interiddler gal and we silently nodded "We got this." However the tension in the room increased almost in waves upon hearing these words and from the back of the room, someone pipped up "55 hours? The students need to organize and unionize! That's ridiculous."

Before the snarky (term of endearment)  part of me (sung to the tune of Katy Perry's 'Best Part of Me') surfaced thanks to a year in my fabulous MIC congregation(no worries, I love them all to pieces), I had to pause for a moment: although longer days and prayerful nights were going to be the norm in all of our vocational lives, we still needed to practice self-care which does not come easy. As pastors and depending on the situation, we literally could be doing many things for the betterment of our parishes and our congregational members. We may end up taking care of things that perhaps we had not thought of; we may be snatching the reins of life because we are perfectionists and if its going to get accomplished, we want it done correctly.

And that brings me to the present, because recently a number of my friends have pulled a "NO" intervention on me. I am seriously guilty of getting involved in any and everything because, well I blame it on my genes (and my mother would agree wholeheartedly). Projects, benefit concerts, problems, organizing people, running meetings, high liturgical circus fun...yes every time these are presented my mind begins reeling about how we can get these things perfectly finished and polished. I can not say no. Is it the fact that I am so enthused about being in Seminary and involved in ministry that I do flying leaps over this journey, racing towards a horizon that is beautifully blinded by the fragility of sunrise?

Then again, the Creator raised His hands to the darkness of the beginning of time and with a deliberate and slow tempo created a thing of wonder and a joy to behold and praise forever and ever. There are moments when He tugs at my hand and sits me down to show me corners of this, Mother Earth and whispers for me to stand still and behold. 

So I am practicing this, saying no and speaking life into what I can do with joy and a resounding "Yes". I am practicing surfing on waves that can carrying me safely onto shores filled with seashells, curled and hidden in the waters of Baptism. 

It is going to be very hard, however to let go of control and just breathe.

Lape Bondye, God's Peace.

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