Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The necessity of reading

I think I’ve mentioned a time or two that life has been insanely busy lately. I am going and working and doing all of the time. I feel so full. The kind of full when you take on other people’s stuff and can’t get rid of it…I have more and more trouble lately letting things go or emptying out so I can be filled again. There just isn’t time.
As part of that, my mind is always concentrated on all there is to do, so there is not a lot of “free space” for creative ideas to come in. I used to be really good at brainstorming a million ideas and then filtering back to what I really wanted to do. Now I have trouble coming up with anything creative, which has been very frustrating.

Today I am waiting for the air conditioning repair guy to come check the ducting, figure out why it is leaking, and hopefully fix it so the house stays cool in the afternoon. I am without internet (yes, this was written on word first) and have been for 5 days (the cable company comes tomorrow) and so I can only do document work or reading rather than the administrative stuff with email (which I desperately need to do!! Camp is only 4 days away!!)

So, I am reading for tonight’s meeting. It is the 4th chapter of “Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations” and it is on Risk-Taking Mission and Service. I am enjoying the chapter because it is drawing me into memories of my mission trips abroad, which is a wonderful place to go in my mind! But I am also enjoying it because it is sparking new ideas for ministry….the brainstorming and creativity I have missed.

And somehow it dawned on me…reading is my creativity fodder. I use the ideas of others to spark my own mind and then change and shape their ideas to fit my own plans. And the sad reality is I haven’t been reading much of anything lately. I haven’t been reading for fun or for work. I read the Bible for Bible study and for sermon prep, but I haven’t been reading much beyond that. I hate to state that anywhere where it can be held against me, but it’s the truth.

Fortunately, after the prophetic word that I have not been reading and should be, there is the evangelio (the good news! The gospel!) that I can get back into reading!! I just need to be intentional about it. I need to choose some books and let them work on me. Two parishioners got me a subscription to the Christian Century for the coming year as an ordination gift, so I can start with that, and should probably pick up a fun book too and then hopefully some creative sparks will get my mind in gear!

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