Thursday, July 19, 2012

Here, Again

The days after getting home from traveling ministry can be a little rough, filled with emotional, spiritual, and physical highs and lows.  I have done this enough times now (and enough times recently!) to know that this too shall pass.  

When I lived in Seattle, my roommate had a magnet on our refrigerator that said, 
"Avoid making irrevocable decisions when tired or hungry." Robert A. Heinlein
Without fail, I am extremely tired and hungry after traveling ministry. So even if the ministry brought up things that I think I should act on, I try not to do so until I feel a little less tired and hungry.  Instead, I eat red meat, get lots of sleep, and try to find my balance.

I got home from North Carolina Yearly Meeting (Conservative) on Sunday night, at what my body was telling me was 2am.  Fortunately, my boss is flexible and I have plenty of sick leave saved up, so I was able to take Monday as a recovery day.  That meant a lot of sleeping, eating, and waiting for my soul to catch up with my body.

I find that I often write lists in my journal while traveling and immediately afterward―half-formed ideas that I want to explore later, or things I don't want to forget but do not have time to work out completely at the time.  Many of these turn into blog posts or articles later, or work their way into my ministry in other ways.

On Monday, I opened my journal to write another list and laughed as a variety of gifts from my time at annual sessions fell out―a postcard, a poem, photos, and a Bible verse.  I felt overwhelmed with gratitude for the gifts I received from Friends while visiting NCYM-C.

These physical gifts seemed to symbolize all the other gifts I received while I was there: hospitality, rides, opportunities for deep worship and enlivening conversation, a good meal, and so much more.  

I am also grateful to Friends World Committee for Consultation for giving me a travel grant that made it possible for me to go in the first place, and to Freedom Friends Church for sending me (again) with love and a traveling minute.

I will be meeting with a clearness committee soon to debrief and I know that I will have much more to say about my time with Friends in North Carolina in my official report and otherwise.  But for now, I just want to say thank you.

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