Jesus was great at teaching us to take time out, even in that last week, right up to Maundy
Thursday he withdrew, John's gospel tells us he hid! He hid not because
he was afraid, but because he knew that he needed physical, mental and
spiritual strength to get through…
So faced with a busy week:
1. What restores you physically?
Today I'm going with my friend, Pastor Peters, to Soakology. We haven't been for a long time. We sit in cushy chairs while our feet soak in big bowls of water. You can add a foot or a shoulder massage. I haven't seen the massage therapist since before Christmas, and I am really looking forward to this. Before we meet, I'm going for a walk with Sam. Since my RA diagnosis, walking seems to be the best exercise. I can set my own pace. My arms hang freely, which is probably the best feeling for my shoulders. Unfortunately it took three days to get over one hour of Qi Gong, which I had hoped might open up some new possibilities for me.
2. What strengthens you emotionally/mentally?
Mentally, going for a walk in the fresh air is the new broom that sweeps clean.
Emotionally, I gain strength from talking to or being with the people to whom I am close. Right now most of those people are far away and/or in transition and/or less available than in the past. I'm finding that's difficult for me, because I am where I have been, geographically, but in the midst of my own transition, both on the verge of the busy season of Holy Week and soon to begin three months of working at two churches. I'm searching for a way to feel stronger, not sure yet what it will be.
And, honestly, I'm still grieving for Molly. I'm fairly overwhelmed by both work and home. Having faced several personal losses/crises over the
years during Holy Week, I never know how it will impact me emotionally.
Some years I sail through, others I feel the old griefs palpably. This
year feels hard.
3. What encourages you spiritually?
Hearing from friends/colleagues that they find this time of year just as challenging as I do!
Choosing music and preaching themes for the Easter Season, something I wanted to accomplish this week and did. I was ready for some different, post-Lenten thoughts.
And it's not happening at the moment, but when it does, creativity encourages me spiritually. It probably strengthens me emotionally, too. My writing at the moment feels flat and protected and disconnected from where I really am, and that feels spiritually fruitless.
4. Share a favourite poem or piece of music from the coming week.
This is the weekend I like to listen to Jesus Christ Superstar. Well, Disc One, anyway.
5.There may be many services for you to attend/ lead over the next week, which one are you most looking forward to and why? If there aren't do you have a favourite day in Holy week if so which one is it?
As much as I struggle with trying to make the leap from Good Friday to Easter in time to have a sermon ready, I love Holy Saturday. We don't do a vigil service, so it's my day to prepare. I'll go for a walk with Sam at Evergreen Cemetery; it's a Holy Saturday tradition, though it's never been just the two of us before. My favorite service, one I haven't participated in for a couple of years but will again this year, is Easter Sunrise. I'm usually ready to go home after that! There's something about being outside at dawn that sums up the Resurrection hope. What more do we need to say?