August 10, 2017, 12:00 AM

I love vacations – and this one was particularly restful because resting is pretty much all I did.  Some days I didn’t even get out of bed, except to eat or feed the cats!  It felt like I was trying to make up for six months of doing too much, trying to do too much, worrying about too much, and never feeling relaxed.

So it was a great vacation!

It also brought home to me the need for me – and perhaps many of you – to take care of ourselves!

I struggle with that, I really do.  I feel responsible to you and accountable to God for how well I do my job – but I’m not sure that my definition of “doing my job well” is actually the same as God’s definition.  Because somehow I think that if I did it by God’s definition, I wouldn’t be skating around the edges of physical, emotional, and spiritual burn-out. 

It’s not that God doesn’t have high expectations!  God says “love God, love neighbor,” it’s true.  But God also says “love your neighbor as yourself.”  So if I drive myself so hard, do I actually do that from love?  And if I drove you that hard, would you feel that I actually love you?  Somehow I don’t think so.

That means that I need to spend a little time hearing from you, what is most important for you that I could do for you, as a congregation.  And then to drop the things that don’t feed your spirits – or mine.  And it might mean that there are things you can help with that I don’t really need to be doing.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on that!

Meanwhile, I’m really looking forward to our conversation on August 20.  Don’t forget there is a combined service at 9 AM, rather than two separate services at 8:00 and 10:00, followed by a pitch-in brunch.  I know that this may upset your usual pattern, and I apologize for that, but I hope you will make a special effort for the event, just as you do for the annual meeting. 

This conversation will provide much needed feedback to the Vestry and to me about your hopes and dreams for Christ Church, and where you think God may be calling us to deepen and grow in both a spiritual and a mission sense.

Son of God, in the light of our faith, we offer our prayer: May we closely follow your lead. For all the places in this world that yearn for new life, grant the light of your saving grace.  For all the joys and concerns of our hearts, hear us, teach us, and restore us, and may your light shine in our hearts and in all the world.  Amen.

(Adapted from Daily Prayer for All Seasons)