In a text the other day, I wrote to a friend, “Remember to care for self as you care for others.” As I typed the words, I paused, then added, “Says he who has difficulty practicing what he preaches.” For me this is so true.
In my thoughts, prayers and deliberations this week, I have been processing all that has occurred in amazing Kelowna and Kamloops this past month, as a team from the Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador and The Parish of the Ascension attended Clay 2014. Decompressing and returning to life and ministry for me is a process of reflecting, and returning to the roots of covenant.
This is not always an easy process, yet I find the crux of this journey to always be linked with the promises I have made; at baptism, confirmation, marriage, and ordination. In each of these liturgies, there is a statement of willed intent, a statement of community promise, and a statement recognizing God’s presence in the process of covenant. I have said these words for myself, and for others through the course of my Christian journey, yet at times there seems to be more of myself and my promise than the recognition of community and godly presence in these covenants.
This is hard stuff, for like all other humans, I do not live up to my statements wholeheartedly. The brokenness and selfishness present in me makes the process of being a guide, partner, friend, pastor, and mentor for others sticky. In my humanness I require forgiveness and healing.
We are formed as human beings yearning for love, wholeness, purpose, and life. We are formed for intimacy with our creator. We are formed to be intimately connected to creation. Beyond our formation, into our practice, we fail. We forget to be present to God, whom we have promised to do and be with God’s presence and help.
I am thankful that God is not human. God does not fall or fail in covenant promises to me or to others. Though I may consider God absent in times because I do not recognize the divine impact in my life, in others, or in the world, that does not make God any less present.
The consequences of my brokenness and failures in covenants stand. I require forgiveness; I require healing and restoration as does any other. The presence that God offers is always; immeasurable; infinite.
Thanks be to God!