Monday, November 09, 2009

Anybody Have a Hyperbaric Chamber I Can Borrow?

Hmm. What does it mean when blog posts are fewer and fewer?

Have I run out of things to say? No.

Have I abandoned the blog for a Twittered - Facebooked existence? Uh, no.

Am I afraid to say what I really think? Really, since when?

More likely, it is the stuff of life when change comes.

While change in life is often a good thing, as a United Methodist pastor, good or not, it is a required part of life. I've found this year I have reclaimed that part of me after having allowed myself to live into the delusion that a happily and meaningfully sequestered existence exempts me from having to consider the ministry questions every other United Methodist elder must consider (well, not every Elder I know...that's probably all I need to say about that, lest I succumb to temptation and fail at the maxim from childhood "if you don't have something nice to say, best not to say anything at all").

What I've discovered about myself that I can now claim is that I feel change. I think I always have. It explains my action and reaction to the changes of life throughout my history. By no means do I claim to be unique in this regard, but its realization in me is a pretty enlightening thing.

I feel change on a personal, spiritual even physical level. Even the best of change exacts a trauma to the system.

There's an element of it that is as welcome as a sunny day after having endured weeks upon weeks of rain (you know, kinda like the whole month of October). Change is good medicine for the system.

And then there's that element of change that can only be described as blunt force trauma. A jolt bordering on violence, change felt in this regard can knock you off your feet.

My life is a system under stress. A little bit of that keeps me focused. In fact, I live gladly with some stress to move me from one thing to the next. If you don't think you want to live with stress, then why do you have to have that cup of high octane coffee in the morning? What is coffee but a stimulant to stress your system into activity?

But there is a saturation point--a time and place when one thing more is one thing too many. When you feel change, as I have and do, and when change comes in droves--the consequences of felt change can be a bit more debilitating than under more healthy circumstances. One more thing seems too much to take.

It's not the new gig. It's a challenge, to be sure, but we're going to be fine. Six to nine months of stabilization, and then we're going to rock the house! Amen. Praise the Lord.

Home life is tough. The stress of parenting is continually amplified by the demands and constant travel of Kristy's work. It's not that it's insurmountable, it's just so much. You folks who know me know that I can function at a pretty high level, and then I need some time to decompress. In those moments, I have to withdraw and retreat. I don't know why that is, I just know myself enough to know that it is.

Well, when you're "Mr. Mom," there is no decompression time. Parenting alone is a pain. I love my boys. They're great. But I'm better with a partner, no doubt about it.

All you single parent friends of mine--I feel ya.

When I can't decompress, I can't think. Introspection is such a part of me that to go from one thing to the next---do, do ,do, do--it's just impossible. When I can't decompress I don't sleep - which is a real shame because I really, really love to sleep. When I can't decompress I don't exercise--which is absolutely what I need to be doing (another "ought" in life - sweet).

Through this year I have known each of the elements of change. I have felt it as a welcomed new day and I have felt it as a head on collision. And through that, I'm trying to find myself. What in me has to be changed so that I can live the change I face more gracefully?

This is the spiritual question on the cutting edge of my being...

I don't know for sure what the final answer's going to look like, but I'm pretty sure that "Let Go and Let God," is going to be somewhere in the mix.

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