Resolutions and Absolutions

A website that I frequently read for wisdom, for laughs, for sanity is RevGalBlogPals. On Fridays, they do what is called the Friday Fives, asking five questions for people to answer. In years past I used to do those on a fairly regular basis but that fell by the way in 2011. I thought I’d start up doing it again in 2013. So in today’s Friday Five,

Pat Raube asks about resolutions and absolutions:

1. Start by sharing your success stories with us: In the past, what resolution has been your most successful? What change have you made that has been the most beneficial, to your mood, health, finances, or other way of being in the world?

A few years ago I made several resolutions that have made major changes in my life—to eat mindfully (which I’m now able to do these days unless I become much too overworked and tired), to bike for at least ½ hour five times a week, and to do yoga or swimming at least once (ideally twice) a week with Kathy. Up until this past fall, I was able to that on a regular basis. It not only put me in better health, but I felt more centered. This fall, with the craziness of so many part-time jobs, going out one or two evenings to swim or do yoga didn’t make me feel healthier, though, it just made me feel exhausted. I longed for some quiet nights at home. I still long for a night or two at home each week, but maybe when April comes, Kathy and I will be able to find some daytime hours to pick this back up.

2. What is one thing you hope to do differently this year with regard to health, either physical or spiritual? If you are satisfied with your current status in both areas, perhaps you would be willing to share something you’ve already done (or regularly do) to care for yourself.

I hope to put the things that matter most to my overall wellbeing and sanity—not only things like biking, but also the playing of my flute, meditating, reflective reading and writing, etc.—first in my day, before they get crowded out by all the things that work has put on my plate.

3. What is one thing you hope your family (of origin, of choice, however you define your primary place of mutual emotional sustenance) will do differently this year? A new tradition for birthdays? More vacation time? Game night? Feel free to really dream about ways to deepen your connections with those you love.

When I think back on the past year, some of my happiest times were playing board games. I’d love to see more game nights with family and friends. Most of our family enjoys board games, so I’d hope we could get together on a more regular basis to play them, maybe even adding some friends who like board games to the mix throughout the year.

And more vacation time like the time spent in Hawaii in January 2012—who wouldn’t hope for that!!!

4. What is one thing you hope your community of faith will consider doing differently this year? New music? Different approaches to preaching? Rearranging the furniture? If you are in a position to try to introduce change, share some of your enthusiasm and/ or anxiety with us!

At this point this is a hard question to answer. If I were staying at South Church for the entire year, my hope would be that we could broaden out our theology from being so anthropocentric to being much more inclusive of all God’s creation and have that widening more visible in the way we pray, worship, do sermons and music, and act. Because I’ll be leaving in a few months, that doesn’t seem possible. I’m also not sure what my new “community of faith” is to be. Is that the presbytery? Right now the presbytery as my regular community of faith feels very amorphous but maybe it’s a question of just needing to live into it to have that become more of a clear reality.


5. In what area would you most like to learn to be gentle with yourself? For what would you most like to forgive yourself? Share your ideas and strategies for extending yourself the kind of grace we know we are assured of.

I’d like to be gentle with myself around the long To Do lists that this spring is bringing me. Even in the first week of new call overlapping old call and teaching, I can’t seem to begin to catch up to the work of the previous month, much less to the work of this week or day. And when it comes to South Church, I want so badly to savor all the time and work I have left with the congregation that I love so much. Instead, though, there’s barely time, if I do things as quickly as possible and for as long as possible each day, to get through the work there and the work for the presbytery and teaching. Savoring is going to have to fall by the way. I need to make peace that not only will I not be able to savor my days left working there but that even doing things as quickly as I can, not all the work on my schedule will get done by the time it should be done or in the way I’d like to do it.


3 thoughts on “Resolutions and Absolutions

  1. Oh, I think savoring is so important. I hear that you think so too, even as you think you don’t have time. So perhaps it’s about being present, staying in the moment. Trust that what gets done is what needed to get done. Delegate where you can. As I read on RevAlli’s blog today, remember that you fell into the arms of a living God.

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