In the six years I've had a blog/journal, this might be the most I've written, ever. The only time that comes close is August 2005, but that's an old journal, and I really think that now if you read my journal, it's more thoughtful. Maybe it's the fact I know how many times people are reading it, and I figure I owe you all a little bit more than garbage.
Today I had my 1:1 with Gregg, and I've thought about this a couple times, but this has been a tough year to learn how to start doing ministry. When I map out all the challenges I've had, you can include natural disasters such as Katrina, and having students live there (including one of my leaders) and other CCO staff there as well; beaurocratic things like the issues between the ROTC and Voice For Peace, one of the social justice groups the Chaplain's Office (not Campus Ministry) oversees; good things like Jubilee and NYC back to back; working 50-60 hours every week; and then toss in that in the last month or so of school there was a rape and a death on campus.
I'm not complaining, and I don't want you to get that impression. I think what I am trying to say is that I've finally had a chance to think about the year, and where I am now in comparison to where I was a year ago, and it's been a steep uphill growth. That might be the most crazy part about post-graduate life: you know you're going to grow up, and so you strap yourself in and go with it. I knew how it was going to work, I just didn't know how it would all fall out.
Gregg and Tom both said I did, indeed, have a challenging year, and that I've thrived. But now it's the let-down time: the time when I'm not just racing through the day getting this done and that done. I have time to think, to reflect, to process. And when you have a whole year that needs that kind of processing, it's a stressful task at times.
I think that's part of the reason I haven't really felt like myself of late. I've just felt tired, soft, and out of sorts. I'm going on vacation starting on Monday, and it's going to be devoted to reclaiming my peace of mind.
I also told Gregg I felt as though God was distant right now, which has been part of my frustrations of late, and he reminded me (as I can always remember, but sometimes struggle to beleive), that in these times, God is closer to me than I can imagine. He also reminded me of a passage in II Peter that I like a lot:
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. (II Peter 1:5-7)
This is always a good reminder to me that when life gets tough, it builds the blocks of a faithful life, and gives us all the chance to be more loving, more compassionate, and more Christ-like in the end. But, again, it's remembering that in the interim that is tough.
I think that's it. I'm off to get some lunch, to get "The Celebration of Disciplines", to get my oil changed, and to read some more stuff for my class in a couple weeks.