Sabbatical week two and it dawns on me-you’re on your own girl!
I am already missing a valued colleague, someone to pray with and someone to bounce ideas off. It is no longer a case of seeing what he is going to get up to next and then trying madly to keep up. Suddenly it feels much calmer around this neck of the woods but it is also a bit disorientating and might get boring after a while. That’s the thing about rabbi’s, they are exciting and exhilarating to be around but sometimes it can be a terrifying ride. Wonderful vicar was rather omni-competant and talented and it was all too easy for me to feel inadequate whenever he was around. Maybe this is the opportunity to grow up, to step out onto the water on my own and take responsibility.
I have been wondering what it was like for the disciples in that in between time; the time between ascension and Pentecost when they had to work out what to do next. When it suddenly dawned on them that for the first time they were on their own, that physically he was not there with them any more. What do they do next? What do they do in the waiting time? They have to grow up and take responsibility.
I think the disciples became much more interesting characters in Acts when they just had to get on with it, when they had to grow up and make choices for themselves.
Last night I grew up. Why, did I not notice the small print in one of the church diaries that said ‘Archdeacon’s visitation’? How did I forget that 4 months ago we agreed to host one of the services? It wasn’t until one of the church wardens in the other parish said ‘see you tonight-so glad we don’t have to travel to the other end of the arch deaconry’ that it dawned on me that maybe I should be there.
So, last night having abandoned a governors meeting half way through , I arrive at church a full half an hour before the service is due to start and am greeted by a startled churchwarden who announced that the church was already packed and by the way did I know that the service sheet said that the intercessions and thanksgiving was to be lead by the host incumbent and not only that I should have organised three readers.
Bother! No robes and no books! So I creep into the vestry to quickly write some prayers, only to find our lovely chatty sociable Diocescan Registrar in there. Well, I can hardly tell him I’m too busy to be welcoming can I?
Good job the Holy Spirit sees the funny side and comes to the rescue. Formal intercessions off the top of my head were really quite good and at least they picked up on the Archdeacon’s sermon. If I had written them before I would not have been able to do that.
We get back into the vestry afterwards and the registrar who has to do 17 of these services to swear in the churchwardens this year says, ‘I love the way you pray- believe me I have to sit through allsorts!’
Could have kissed him!