There is so much swirling around in my head and there is no time to sift through it all. How wonderful it would be to have time just to think, to work through things, or to be able to complete a project in a thorough manner.
It would be nice, but that is not the world in which I live, and frankly it is the world of too many of us. So, we do what we can.
I need to remind myself that the Church is God’s – St. Paul’s, The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Communion, or the Assemblies of God to extend out even further. I tend to be a perfectionist and to set high expectations for myself. I have learned to be realistic, but in the back of my mind a voice still says, “You should be able to do all this and do it up to the standards that the people and God warrant.” It would be nice.
Why am I here? I am here to glorify God. I am here to be in relationship with those around me. I am here to love them and help them be as God’s desires them to be – free, joyful, faithful, loving, forgiving, free (because this is very important), secure, content, giving, free, at peace, able to hear the still small voice of God, and so many other things.
I am a priest. This isn’t a job; it is a sense of being. It is more than an identity. My life is not my own, and I am one under authority. I am one in Holy Orders – a servant. Honestly, all the other stuff is (or should be) on the periphery. I too often focus on those peripheral things because they shout the loudest to be paid attention to.
From the Westminster Larger Catechism:
Question 1: What is the chief and highest end of man?
Answer: Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever.
The Shorter Catechism is the same, only shorter (funny how that works, isn’t it?) and more familiar:
Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Manâ€™s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
Oh, that this would always be in the forefront of my thoughts!
This brings me to the attitude adjustment that Iâ€™ve needed for a long time. I just hope it sticks. The work of my mind or hands is a service to the Church, in whatever function I happen to be fulfilling or in whatever capacity I am called: data-analyst, priest, spiritual director, confessor, gutter cleaner-outer, graphic designer, and so on.