Looking back over my shoulder at 2007

31 Dec

 Journal Entry – Friday 21st December 2007
I have found space as usual at the end of the year and just before Christmas to reflect upon the last year. This year has personally been a year of change with Matthew’s birth and all that has meant for both Jo and me. It has made me once again take up another role and another one that I feel out of my depth and inadequate for. But as always through these inadequacies I find the great joys and the most painful hurts.
I sit again today as I have done over past years looking at an open fire in the Fish and Eels pub. There is something warm and comforting about the heat and the smell.
I have been doing various bits of reading today some of which has caused me to write in my notepad bits and pieces that will probably be used for a retreat evening that I will be leading in early Jan. A question that I wrote down to ask members of our youth team as we gather is:
What is the condition of your soul?

Since writing that phrase I have been pondering this for myself. I am actually struggling to articulate my thoughts around this.
In some ways I carry a sense of frustration, frustration and annoyance at my own failings, a frustration that my good intentions don’t come to fulfillment, well at least for long. I feel in another way that I am learning and in a place of preparation, preparation for what God is leading me to and who he is developing me into. Those questions of who am I? What is my purpose? The strive to understand more fully what it means to be a child of God. This preparation I don’t fully understand, I have some sense that I am nearing the end of a season or time as ecclesiastes would put it. Whether that means physically in terms of location, a change in role or just some kind of moving on and forwards in my relationship with God.
My thoughts have also been drawn to further questions that I will pose at this evening in Jan.
Am I driven or called? And what does mean? How does that work itself out in my life?
At times this year I have been very much in a place of feeling called, which I truly believe I am. They are times of my soul being settled, but at others I have been driven which normally leads to or perhaps comes out tiredness both physically and spiritually. I think I find it hard now to distinguish between physical and spiritual tiredness as they seem so inseparable within me. I guess I’m discovering that sense of wholeness and interconnectedness that the Jews were an may still be aware of.
I jotted down this little phrase earlier this morning which I think has helped me understand some of this drive and calling stuff.
“Busyness leads to product rather than process. Product isn’t about being present it’s about getting the job done. If I wish to be present, not past or future I must be a person of process.”
This year I am continuing to learn more about silence and solitude. The writing of Mark Yaconelli and Thomas Merton have been prominent. Merton seems to have discovered this at about my age now. I was however comforted as I read today that he found distractions in these times. It added a great sense of humaness to this Saint. I need to develop this rhythm in my life more adequately but at least my retreat days have become higher priority and much better guarded. I do however need to discover solitude amongst noise. That ability to block out the external and the hear the still small voice of God within.
Today it has been good to step back, step out and see the bigger picture. It has helped me to regain that perspective of how small I am but also the significance of the small.
I remember a quote that goes something like:
“Never underestimate the affect of the small, just ask someone who has been to bed with a mosquito.”



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