I've toyed with letting you into my private life a bit further. I struggled last summer with some exhaustion. While I was not,at this point, depressed. I was still healing from a previous experience with burnout. But indeed, the brooding I'll share over the next days or weeks, will let you in on a bit of what it looked like from inside of my head when I was tired and wondering about ministry, and my place in it.
Below are some unedited excerpts from my private journal while on vacation last summer. I'm letting you into a private place here. Please be kind.
So here I am, washed-up on another shore, pushed here by a need to be away--a need to rest. I've sat at surf's edge for much of the first day. Feeling profound thoughts, and wishing I could pen them.
The encroaching tide, and the fleeing foam breathe-in-and-out in a primal whisper--they say something to me. And deep within, I comprehend. Though my "first-day-away ears" hear only white noise; rhythmic static. And once again I come here with a restless spirit and a quivering soul. My body is picking-up their symptoms. Anxiety is grinding my teeth, dizzying my conversations and crowding-out my peace.
What is the capacity of the seas? This, yet another escape, lands me by the surf, seeking relief, cleansing, peace--Truth. A mystic of sorts once asked me, "What are you running from?" As the sun sets behind me, and the sky shimmers before, I feel it is time to find an answer--one that I can live with.
At 5:40 this morning I woke. Light peered through the edges of the window where the curtain comes to an end. Quickly I step into shorts and a long-sleeved shirt, walk into the morning and toward the beach. Cresting the dune, I see the top half of the sun. (Have to fight feelings of failure for a moment--I missed the first peek of the sun over the ocean.) Then I realize the foolishness of my driven-ness--even on vacation!
As the sea bears the sun, and births this new day, two words emerge. "Mortality" and "vantity." And somehow this morning, I must admit their relation to one-another, and to me.
My family has known dark days. Days of disease or broken body. Now that we have moved beyond those reminders of our mortality, we are grateful to be living comfortably back in the "real world" where we easily ignore mortality--at least until a friend calls speaking of a new measuring stick, marked with three months, and divided into 90 notches called days.
Why did I and so many others rise early and take our places to watch the sunrise this morning? And why did the nascent beauty of today's first light reflect off of mostly graying heads? In some internal place we are learning that be it ninety or nine thousand notches that remain, there will be a last. And I want to be OK with that. Yet I know that I am not. I know this because yesterday--I shaved!
I'll put more of this entry up in a day or so. Be easy on me in your comments. It's not easy putting private journal stuff on the internet:)!