It's been certainly quite awhile since I last updated.
First things first, I managed to get my finisher medal for Borneo International Marathon - my very first 10k.
I really do like this picture very much - the effect and play of morning light and shadow on the grass contrasted with the red of the tshirt is quite striking. Was dog tired and close to collapsing, but the photo doesn't show that...! Taken while I was queuing up for Milo (2 cups, no less, I think I fully deserved it)
The event of the year for Lifeline - our Lifecamp 2014 is fast approaching, and with it, the excitement of promo and content and planning meetings and getting things ready for the camp. This year, I take on the challenge of planning and coordinating camp content and briefing the facilitators.
Over in my sub-ministry, things haven't been easy - 3 members quit my team and 1 told me he's now in the core team for RCIA i.e. he will have much less time to serve in Lifeline. It's only me and my faithful assistant who's been manning the fort. With the demands of work and other issues, it's really been very difficult managing the workload and the expectations of those around me, as well as my own.
This wick began to smoulder ... and I thought He would quench it.
But He didn't.
We had a meeting with Fr. Alberto, our assistant parish priest who oversees Lifeline.
And such words of wisdom he shared. Truly, it was balm to my soul. Here are some of the key points and my own reflections :-
- Support systems and coping mechanisms matter
We need to have our support systems in place when undertaking any kind of venture and more so in serving in ministry. Sometimes the support systems may take different forms and can be quite unexpected, but if they encourage us to do better and comfort us, then they are worth having.
It's also important to have appropriate coping mechanisms. One of the things that struck me the most was avoiding negativity and empty talk from the people around me, possibly characterised as 'unhelpful chatter'. It only makes things worse.
- Remember our growth
Never forget that all of us are growing, whether in our personal lives or in ministry or at work. Don't forget to take a step back and see how far you have come and know that you can keep on going
- Numbers aren't everything
Ministry isn't a numbers game and as much as we help to sow the seed, remember that the growth of the seeds depends on God and we can never know how much of a difference we make in our efforts.
Always respect the other and yourself in all interactions. There's a reason why the saying 'familiarity breeds contempt' exists.
- We live in tension
We all live in a tension between what we long to do and the realities we face - the secret of life is managing the tensions.
Just knowing that frees me up a lot because I can acknowledge that I'm a complex person who faces conflicting emotions and this is absolutely normal. And this is where I am learning to depend on grace - the spiritual side of things - while also working on the material and concrete issues that demand my attention.