Fearless love and compassion for one’s self can do wonders for self-care. I look at my self in a mirror and I see a man who has been through a lot. LIke all of us who have been through a lot. We are an exhausted, wealthy society. And it shows. Both show.
The question is whether or not the church has the inner strength to be different. Jesus asked that we be different. He asked it in so many ways and then he even modeled the difference at the end of his life on this planet.
The Renewal Works program at the Cathedral has show that the congregation is concerned for the well-being of its clergy and staff. They want us to be well, centered, kind, good people. The congregation wants us to model wellness above holiness. And they even seem to know that with the former, the later is possible.
As I heal from having been hit by a train, I only have one task left on my doctor’s list. He wants me to slow down. He wants me to live a happy, contented life in which my centeredness and wellness is apparent to those around me in such a way that when I am with them, I am really with them, not half-with them in a fog of exhaustion and resentment for long hours worked and short nights slept.
When the five committees and commission, around which I am shepherd, met in a summit this past week, they wanted to know how I am doing. That is natural. I told them I am well and have been encouraged by the Dean and Chapter to live a well, balanced life- getting the rest I need to be a well human. I then told them that I am committed to working a 45 hour work week (except at Christmas and Easter) such that there are four hours before work to pray and think, and four hours after work to make pottery and friends. They broke out into spontaneous applause. They affirmed a choice of wellness.
So now I sleep long nights. I go to work rested and happy. I am very aware and open to those around me and to myself and my own areas of growth as a human. And all manner of things shall be well.