This Week at Trinity, Beamsville
Friday, August 13, 2021
This week I’ve been compiling another book/wish list. I can’t say I’ve been tackling much in-depth reading from it, yet. It’s been more of a broad scan, a looking ahead, well into planning mode for fall worship, trying to draw on the most present and pertinent voices for our faith learning. Only 4 Sundays from now, we’ll be back in the Season of Creation, and I’ll be back in my happy place of exploring God’s truths through the wisdom of this extraordinary planet. Don’t misunderstand, I’m quite fond of people, too. I just know how often this species tends to overlook all the rest, to our collective, global detriment.
Before I get too far ahead of myself, for the moment I’m also compiling a second, significantly shorter book list, for my own edification, these next three weeks in particular. Starting Monday, I’ll be on a week of Study Leave, followed by two weeks of vacation. With some time away from meetings and screens, I’m preparing for David Wallace-Wells’ “The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming”. (I’m dreading more than looking forward to it, but I know it’s a vital read.) After that, I have a reading date with Suleika Jaouad’s “Between Two Kingdoms”, and intermixed with those will be a re-read of Wayne Muller’s “Sabbath”, with a friend’s notes to accompany me this time. Who knows how much of that list I’ll actually get through, but I can say for sure that Sabbath must prevail. Capitalized in a title or otherwise, sabbath is due for this heart of mine. I suspect the same is true for many of you.
Beyond reading, of course there are significant family plans for those last two weeks away. Most notably, we’ll be moving our Abbey to university and her new life as an engineer-in-training. After that, I’ll immerse myself in adjusting to another phase of life, but for now, I’m soaking up all her joy and excitement. It brings my heart peace, even as I wonder how time could possibly go so quickly.
My longing to slow down time may be fruitless and naïve, but the quest to slow down life’s pace still feels like a crucial spiritual act – and so I’m very grateful we’ve been exploring it this summer. I know we’re just winding up the second of three cycles, with plenty more, smile-filled learnings to come in my absence (thank you Kass and Martha, Paul and all the TUCB children!), but even these precious weeks of concerted praise and thanks have brought me a spiritual re-awakening of sorts. I’m re-learning some pieces on perspective, on prayer and perseverance, and the distinct power of humility, not to mention patience. I’m remembering how to slow down enough to rest, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually. I’m resting more deeply in Jesus’ wise teaching that life’s heavy lifting cannot and does not rest on any one of us; that we’re given one another for good and holy reasons, and we’re all better for living into those truths.
That feels like a long list for an inevitably short summer, but let’s call it a testament to the great and unending work of God. In my life, and I believe also in yours, God is bringing change and purpose to our lives all over again, in every season, every day. May we continually re-open ourselves to that precious and generous, renewing Love. May we never forget to offer praise and thanks, and even some wonder-filled laughter, all along the Way.
With love to you all,
“The movement of grace toward gratitude brings us from the package of self-obsessed madness to a spiritual awakening.” (Anne Lamott, ‘Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers’, 2012)
“Rest and laughter are the most spiritual and subversive acts of all. Laugh, rest, slow down.”