There's an odd thing about being a cleric in that you live in a world of expectations unmet or done differently and assumptions that hinder and distract. A couple of weeks back one of the children received a telephone call from someone who huffed and puffed and, to be totally honest, sounded like a bit of a Twit. To her credit, the child who took the call, having been hung up on once they person's rant was over, called them back and handled the call exceedingly well (by the sound of it, better than the caller - but perhaps the motorcycle fumes and living on an island does stuff to you) but the end result is this: Rude and ignorant can be the property of each of us at times regardless!
Having a quiet night I happened, foolishly, to look at my emails and found something that needed a call to discuss, so I stopped the film and bothered someone else, and cleared the matter from my head. I felt awful imposing myself on the person at the other end of the wire and grovelling apologies for the call. Thankfully they were someone who is full on and committed to everything they do and being kindness itself, tolerated my intrusion.
But my day was filled with a number of people who had expectations, demands and denials and that makes it all very tiring - the filler in the sandwich came in the shape of kindly people who, almost apologetically, had needs to be met. There was the fall out from things taken on and undelivered - which met I had now had to take them on and deliver, as well as try to smooth over the bumps left in the road - and the newly hatched needs, some of which were less of a need and more of something else!
But every time the bells go down the cleric, well this cleric, stands to and prepares to engage whatever is before them. Life is always varied, often fun, more often than not more complicated than it needs to be (that's because we work with people I guess) and . . .
Lord, help me to meet the needs of those around me with grace, good humour and patience. To overlook the bad behaviour of others, their ignorance (and I don't mean knowledge), their demands (sometimes unreasonable) and their self-absorbed bits - and yet to never excuse, or permit them to behave badly.
Help me to have the courage to just say 'no' and to draw lines that protect me.
Help me to lead people to the Christ rather than get caught up in the desire in others for me to be Christ for them!
Help me to see real needs and meet them whilst avoiding the wants in others adding to the need in me and causing me real harm.
Lord, we walk to the cross by may routes and the burden on that wood and the the lashes on our back are so often added to by those we seek to serve. Give me the strength to make the journey; give me the grace to bless those who fling insults and wound by their words; give me the strength to give what I should and the courage to deny what I ought to.
Help me, dear Lord, to minister our of my calling and not from the demands of a career!
You have given me life today - fed me - forgiven me - followed me (carrying me in when I stumbled and fell) - enabled me - together, in unity, we have worked to make Your kingdom come, equally yoked and in our continual love affair.
Tomorrow, my Sabbath, may we relax together in that same relationship as we worked today, and when the needs come (and they will I am sure) may we be ready to meet them with love, grace, wisdom and honesty.
Father, forgive them, for even if they know what they are doing, they rarely understand why :-)
This place of reflection is here for me to dialogue internally and gain insight and perspective. It first appeared in this current form for some of those looking at creating their own journal as part of the their journey to discerning vocation. The Morning prayer is there also for that same purpose: to create the discipline of prayer. Dialogue, insights and experience of others concerning this entry is always welcome - all grist to the mill.