I have just finished a very intensive three and a half years working for the Methodist Church nationally to develop Chaplaincy Everywhere. To be frank, we gave a lot to the work (as others have) and beginning any new work, especially on that scale, was exhausting both physically and emotionally. It was also very costly for our family; we moved home twice from the South Coast to Glossop near Manchester and ended up a year ago in a little village just outside Wakefield. I was then made redundant. So, it has been exhausting and I find myself emotionally burnt out and in need of space and nourishment.
Many people thought that we were mad to pursue the vision for Chaplaincy Everywhere on 1 year fixed term contracts, especially as we had to move away from friends and family to pursue the work, but we felt like it was the right thing to do. God clearly told us to take one step at a time and we have done just that! I have learnt over the years that guidance usually works that way.
So here we are on the 2nd September and I am beginning a little experiment. I am choosing not to run into another full time job, which will no doubt become all consuming. Instead, I am going to wait on God and see what happens. I am choosing to have the confidence to pause… again!
My wife said that God has given me the desires of my heart and that is a true and wise perception. I have been trying to carve out this kind of space for the best part of a decade. This way of being was always the goal - I’m not sure how long it will last, this time in which I can wait, still my restless heart and discern how to spend my time in ministry - in pursuits that are right up my street.
I want to live a life of obedience. I want the things I invest my energy, focus and passion in to have an impact. I believe that acting from a place of prayer and waiting will result in meaningful and powerful action - hopefully with loud music and much dancing somewhere in the mix :)
The art of stillness is a hope to reach towards, I certainly wouldn’t call myself an expert, more like someone who aspires to be an artist. Right now I draw stick people, but watch this space, real art may emerge.