Weekly Reflection from Archdeacon Brian Nov.9, 2023
There are those moments when one MUST believe in the Spirit of God--roaming around the world, trying to take care of us.
It must be very frustrating for God!
This past week I read an article asking, ‘How available are you?’
Volunteers are the backbone of any organization, community, municipality, and country.
This Saturday, our nation will pause for 2 minutes to remember the largest group of volunteers ever assembled in this country. In particular, we are mindful of those who served during World Wars l and ll. At the same time, we remember the Veterans of the Korean War, Bosnia, and Afghanistan, along with many others. This year also marks the 75th Year of the United Nations’ Peacekeepers.
I often reflect on the words of Bishop Vicars Short. When he interviewed me, as a possible candidate for postulancy in the Anglican Church, his first question was, “Brian, are you prepared to do this 24/7 for the rest of your life?”
I do not recall my answer, but it must have “passed.” Here I am today; and it was not long before I realized how weighty his question was.
Leadership, of any kind, always has those, “other unspecified duties” attached to it.
A quick read of the Gospels, reveals Jesus’ expectations. Here are two quotes:
‘..and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all.’ Mark 10.44
‘So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.’ Luke 14.33
With the advances in technology, there is now the expectation that all people are "on-call" 24/7!
Tongue-in-cheek, when I receive an email to which I do not respond immediately, (maybe I don’t really care to or, maybe I am otherwise occupied) I will often receive a follow-up message, ‘did you get my email?’
I then ask myself, “Whatever happened to the phone?” In my experience, 90% of all “issues” can be resolved in under a minute with one phone call, rather than the 4 or 5 or 6 emails of modern communications!
This leads me back to that article, ‘How available are you?’
Often, when we complain, or express how we feel ‘overloaded’ it is no one’s fault but our own, me included. We create our own ‘overworked stress’ with the inability to say ‘no.’
Our diocesan bishop recently asked of the clergy, ‘had we taken all our vacation time yet, this year?’ The saving answer was, ‘I will, before the end of the year'.
Vacation time is not about a gift from the employer; it is about taking time to regenerate—taking time to be recreated. My philosophy has always been, 'if possible, take all of your vacation allowance-time in one chunk.’ Sabbatical-takers often state that their first month of sabbatical is about doing nothing.
A wise person once said, “Deeply and faithfully loving and caring for oneself–is not a pause between activities.”