Monday, September 01, 2008

Sabbatical Reflection, September 1

By nature I am an instruction follower. I frequently read the instruction booklets that come with new equipment and I am forever going on-line to find about how to do things that I’ve never done before.

Last weekend we finished cleaning and pressure washing the deck. Then it rained. And it rained some more. And then it really rained. By the end of the week I could feel the mold creeping back. The instructions on the sealer told us we needed the deck to dry out and we needed 24 hours without rain after sealing and staining.

Discouraged, we scanned the weather forecast each day, and each day the forecast would drift from sun to chance of showers to sun. No matter how carefully we had prepared we could not control the weather!

By Friday, the weather report looked a little more hopeful and I nearly started sealing and staining but a “chance of showers” loomed for the afternoon and I so I worked on yet another house project – removing moss from a brick walkway: truly, in the course of this sabbatical the putty knife and I have become one!

Saturday morning, the sun was shinning, the deck was all dried out (it had not rained on Friday after all). The forecast predicted “very slight chance of showers” early Sunday morning: we went for it! By the end of the day we had finished sealing and staining the deck.

That night the slight chance of showers rained down. Puddles formed on the deck. The sealer remained nearly as wet as when we left it Saturday afternoon. By today, Monday, it is slightly drier and I live in hope that all will be well.

It got me thinking about life in general. You can do all the planning and prep work possible, internalize all the directions and follow them, and if the conditions are not right – it doesn’t matter. Knowing when to move and how to shift becomes an art in itself and we don’t always get it right.

As I’ve worked, my mind has been freed to think about church and its purpose, as well as my life and my purpose. Scraping away at accumulated “smutch” between the boards of the deck or scraping off accumulated moss on bricks I can sense that I’m also removing a sort of plaque that had built up around my soul. I can feel a certain joy beginning to return to me; a tiny bubbling up of simple purpose.

This Sunday we attended worship at the Ananda Community, a blend of east and west that comes out of the tradition of Yoganada, founder of Self-Realization Fellowship. Barb had been active in this community for a number of years and she was able to re-connect with her teachers from that time.

Each worship service we attend offers something of interest and I find myself also longing for our dear home – Queen Anne Christian Church. Thank you for these days of labor and reflection.


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