First I have to report that we took our old Nissan Bluebird to the auto-electrician and he put a new starter motor in her, now she is fine. I only have the satisfaction of knowing that I can still diagnose issues, it is nice to pay other people to do the stuff you can't afford the time to do. Even though we are poorer, she runs like clockwork again.
The warm feeling of satisfaction.
I have had a busy week with long days and with every minute of the day used. There was one stage when I had an extra thrown at me that I nearly lost it. In exasperation I yelled, "I just can't fit everything in! I am not lazing around, I am working, I just can't do it all!" That really is true, there are some things left undone, but I have been secretly pleased with what has been happening. I'll share some.
My older brother was visiting from Australia. He is a minister there, and while relatively liberal, he fits the mold of a minister better than I do. He leads a good functioning church there and fits into the establishment. I get the feeling he might disagree with my emphases here and look down upon my work as not really being good "Church work". (He has different gifts than I do, there are more resources in his setting at his disposal and running a Church of Christ in Victoria is very different than running one in down town Dunedin.) We had a discussion at my sister's birthday party and at one stage I bit my lip because I was not where he was assuming I was at. Anyway he came and we had lunch together on Wednesday. When he arrived at the Church it felt like Space2B was full of people talking and sharing with each other, and secretly I felt pleased. It may be different than he would run, but my dream was working as I envisioned it. When someone visits you look at your show with more critical eyes, and I thought what I saw at lunchtime on Wednesday looked pretty healthy.
Thursday was a very full day and again at lunchtime Space2B was full of people. We partner with the local city council settlement resource person and an immigrants orientation tour begins at our place. This day it was being filmed by the Council to be used as a podcast on their website. Also the local TV station was along to film parts of it. I looked at what was happening and felt satisfied inside. The Church was using its resources for the community, life enhancing positive stuff was happening and people were feeling at home there. I thought I saw "God smiling"... it may be unconventional "church work" but it is relevant and real.
On Friday a lady who is studying counseling and social work had asked if she could have a field placement at our Space2b and drop-in centre. Currently she has a fairly high profile job in the community which is going to cease later in the year. I had agreed and invited her to come and see what we did at Drop-in to see if she felt it suited her requirements. As the drop-in opened and she watched people coming I could not help but be a bit proud. Again you look at what you do more objectively because someone is visiting. This I did as we met on Friday night and I felt secretly proud of what was happening. People were being loved, accepted and affirmed.
I have done my usual chaplaincy hours. In one of my chaplaincies people are going through change and I was pleased to be able to drop easily into conversation and support people in that. I have been pleasantly surprised at the warmth with which people receive me in chaplaincy and I look back at time spent this week with a sense of satisfaction.
I look back at the week feeling deeply privileged because in the course of my work I get to meet and share with some great people who treat me with warmth. (e.g. Today on my run I came across a guy from my brewery chaplaincy and I felt pleased. We so easily dropped into significant conversation.) I look back on the week and I feel that I am doing OK, making a significant and useful contribution in my roles as minister and chaplain. In the Genesis myth about creation God finished each day's creative work and looked and "saw that it was good." I look back on my week and I look and think, "Yeah that was busy, sometimes stressful but good and worthwhile!" And in that I am very fortunate and wealthy!
Photos: Three attempts to catch the feeling of the sky when I walked up my mountain yesterday. No photo could grasp it though.