Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Monday, March 26, 2012

Back to basics brings balance

Vegetables for dinner
Ceiling panels primed and ready.
Wallboard waits for days off.
Seven eggs from eight hens - not bad.
Apples nearly ready to harvest.
Depression hits again...
Today has been my day off. It is also Otago Province's Anniversary Day, so many others are having a day off. (Many just add it on to their Easter holiday) I started the day quite depressed, partly because the weekend has passed without exercise - I was too busy on Saturday and the rain came tumbling down after I finished taking services yesterday. The other reason is that at the moment I am pretty flat about the work of the Church. I guess it is hitting me that I am nearly finished my career as a minister and I have not been able to fulfill my dreams of bringing real change to the church. I was a plumber and really felt like the Church had stopped communicating in language, issues and directions that the average Joe would understand or be interested in. I sensed a "call" to be involved in ministry to see if I could bridge the gap. Forty years later I come to the end of my career and the Church is still largely an "Island of irrelevance in a sea of despair." I have not been able to make the difference I had hoped for in my ministries. I have felt like I have wasted my life. I have tried to stick with the church while most of my contemporary colleagues have long since jumped ship.  But has this perseverance been worth the struggle?  In Matthew 10:14 Jesus is instructing his disciples for their mission. He says to them, "And if some home or town will not welcome you or listen to you, then leave that place and shake the dust off your feet." I get the feeling I should have listened to those instructions. I have felt basically as if I have not been listened to, and just maybe I too should have jumped ship, at least out of The Associated Churches of Christ? All that to say, that today I started the day really depressed.
Steps toward bathroom renovation, the joy of farm produce and a walk.
We are going to do up our bathroom. Today we went into the "Mega store" (Mitre 10 hardware store) and bought some wallboard, some board for the ceiling and some primer paint. (About $850 worth!) We borrowed a trailer from the store and brought the stuff home. We trimmed the ceiling panels to the right size and set them up for painting, then took the trailer back.  The other aspect to today is the enjoyment of food from the garden. Apple Jelly from our apple trees, eggs from our hens and firewood from our trees.  We had turnips, beans and potatoes from the garden, and there are heaps more of assorted vegetables to come. (I cannot wait for the time I am retired and I can really make this acre produce some food!) At around 5 p.m. I got my walking gear on, took an apple and an orange and my walking stick and walked up "my" mountain. (Mount Cargill) I sat on a rock at the top devouring my fruit, surveying the scenery and enjoying the evening sunshine. I then came down the hill to find that my wife had completed the painting of the ceiling panels and they are ready to be screwed in place. I look forward to this some night this week.... maybe.
Depression lifted...
At the end of the day I feel better. Of course there are still questions about the church and ministry that will never go away. But there is something about getting back to basics that brings good vibes into one's being. Working on or toward do-it-yourself projects, enjoying fresh produce that you planted and grew, and going for a simple lung stretching walk all bring a sense of balance and connection with life. I am sure there would be less need for tranquilizers, less abuse of alcohol and less mental health problems if we all enjoyed doing these sorts of basic things. I heard of a Doctor who prescribed gardening for his patients. He claimed feeling the soil in one's fingers, growing things and sensing nature brought inner healing. From my experience I agree!

That reminds me tomorrow I go to the Doctor for a check up... tonight I will sleep contented.

1 comment:

Bricky said...

I agree about the balance - and about the therapeutic effect of gardening. I also agree with you about the importance of regular exercise, but in my case I find that to be the hardest part to get started on. Gardening sometimes involves exercise of a sufficiently strenuous nature, but not always.