Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Aaaargh...All too much!

I have been struggling this week. There are some health issues to contend with. In the last couple of days I have also had to listen to other people's issues and difficulties. I have had to recognise some short comings I have had as chair of the Night Shelter. Progress seems slow and frustrating. So I spent last night stewing, sick of it all and wanting to chuck in everything. Two things have helped.

  • On Tuesday night I watched a documentary on William Wilberforce and his work and impact. There was little that was new for me in the documentary but just the reminder of this guy's tenacity inspired me.
  • The reading for Mark set by the Revised Common Lectionary for this week. Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 

30The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. 
53When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. 54When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, 55and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.
  • I found the description "like sheep without a shepherd" a good description of our society. We have given up traditional foundations (and I suspect that's not bad) but we have not discovered or cemented in new ones.
  • I could identify with "For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat." (I work through every lunch hour) That's what my life feels like.
One comment on the passage by William Loader I found via the Textweek website inspired me....

"Mark’s hearers then and now know that this is not the whole story, but it does not change the nature of the mission: to offer leadership in teaching and in acts of compassion that bring healing and set people free from what oppresses them.

It felt like he had given expression to a mission statement for my life and it is helping me today to hang in there.

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