Friday, 29 June 2007

Things that go bump in the night

It has been a funny old week with many disturbing things. They vary in quality, some seem serious, some seem ho-hum, some are depressing. I can do things about some of them and nothing about others. It all leaves me feeling just a little dazed about what is going on in my life.
  • Sunday was my first Sunday back, everything went OK. Sometimes with a longish break your drop the rhythm and its hard work just leading worship. It wasn't so this week. Maybe that's good and maybe that's bad. It rather reminds me of the cartoon of the old woman shaking the priest's hand at the door of the Church, after one of a the new style of services (so typical of the 60s and 70s) had not gone particularly well. "Don't worry Vicar, " she said, "we'll soon be rattling all the new words off without a thought!"
  • We also had a little administrative meeting after church and I came away feeling ambushed about discussions that had obviously taken place while I had been away and no one had bothered to tell me about them. The actual content didn't bother me so much, but I was left with a sense of little concern for me and my feelings.
  • The weather has been dark and cold, and I was very conscious that last year this took a toll on my mental outlook. I cannot wait for it to end, but there is weeks to go.
  • All this Aboriginal stuff is horrible. I feel for those communities that are so vulnerable to government whim and posturing in order to gain electoral advantage
  • I was deeply disturbed after Spiritual Direction this week. I came away with a feeling that I had made no connection at all with my Director. And I wanted to go back and say "This can't go on!" and yet the thought of having to find someone else is too much to bear. The irony is that (as those who know about Direction will testify) that such a strong response inevitable means some powerful sort of movement within.
  • Despite my previous bemoanings that my dream analysis has been pretty lacklustre, I have really been having a series of dreams which have quite disturbed me.
  • I was more than a little spooked by the Religion Report this week (here) An awful story of alleged systematic child abuse within a 'respectable' religious order, where almost all of the serving brothers have had allegations brought against them. I am not involved. I don't know any of the people. But it has saddened me greatly. Perhaps it confronts an overly idealistic vision of the religious life, which the world sees through all too readily but which I have clung on to. What if, as the fiercest critics say, it is all just a sham and a cover for evil and neurosis? A case could be made.
  • Yesterday, I saw my 89 year old friend. In the process of great decline. He is sad and depressed and will die sometime. His spirit is almost defeated. His body is packing up. His active mind is understimulated. There was little I could do or say to address any of this.
  • This morning in my prayers I realised how fed up I am of all this.How angry with the God who seems to be playing "Yes Minister" with me!...yes this is what I call the Appleby effect. . I have noted it before when I have watched.. as I have this week.... ten episodes of that hilarious but bitterly cynical show which I got on DVD for my birthday
I am prepared to admit that all this might have some greater meaning...but enough is enough!!

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