Thursday, September 23, 2010

Digging into the Season

Last week felt like fall. It was in the air with the cooler days. We had to wear sweaters to enjoy our patio on those mornings. This week however is quite another story. It's been in the 90s nearly every day. Today it reached 97 degrees. As the seasons and the weather change, so do the seasons of our lives.

For the past couple of weeks I have been struggling with fatigue--even when I've had a quiet and peaceful day off and plenty of sleep. I couldn't tell if I was coming down with something or what was going on. I'd make a few calls, do a little visitation and my energy was sapped. I knew it couldn't be my thyroid because I was taking my thyroid medicine. Well, it seems that thyroid levels ebb and flow also and now I'm on a higher dose of medicine.

This all leads up to the time I had with my spiritual director this week. I was frustrated that during the times of extreme fatigue, I seemed to accomplish very little. My spiritual director reminded me that those quiet times are times of fecundity, which was a new word to me. According to Merriam-Webster.com, it means, " fertile, fructuous, fruitful, lush, luxuriant, productive, prolific, rich." God uses such time that seems useless and frustrating to us to mix together our  experiences with our current situation. For myself, it is using what I have learned the past two years in seminary and applying it to and mixing it with the practical time of internship in a church. Just as the literal ground is plowed under, so the ground of our lives, our souls are being plowed. This can seem tortuous, but necessary for further growth.

Last summer's maturation process was painful as I wept my way through clinical pastoral education (CPE), learning more about myself and the impact my family of origin had on who I am today.

This summer consisted of moving and beginning internship in Petersburg, WV for a year. Much of what I experienced and learned in CPE, I have been able to apply to this time and place. This is true as well of what I have learned this year in the classroom. And God continues to work on my "growing edges," as they are called.

I have been able to further discern my sense of call and here have experienced a profound sense of place. This is a time of ministry in which I feel very much at home. It feels so very right to be in this place at this time in my life. The only thing I keep thinking is that from the inception of this journey of candidacy and seminary, this has been the very best part yet. Of course, I tend to think that at whatever juncture I am at. Sometimes I can't help but think of this hymn.

As I was exhorted this week, let me exhort you to experience the sights, sounds, smells of this season of fall and season of your life and let God speak to you through them. Step back and reflect on what God has been up to in your life. Be fruitful!


Picture from Google Images

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