Sunday, March 25, 2012

My "Check Engine" light came on

My "Check Engine" light came on this week. No, this is not about our automobiles; it is about me. I was to return a phone call early in the week and I couldn't figure out who the person was. I thought and thought with no progress. I finally asked our Church Secretary and with a strange look on her face, she said it was one of the Church Staff. I was embarrassed. Later in the week I received an email asking for some information, but I couldn't figure out who the person was, although the name was familiar. The next day, I realized that the person was one of my Seminary students. My "Check Engine" light was on. This is probably the accumulation of the past several months rather than one major thing. I consulted with a couple of my colleagues and they agreed that I needed to make some adjustments. So, with my colleagues guidance I've made some changes. I've marked off three, maybe four, weeks from work as soon as we graduate students from the Seminary. Second, I've told my colleagues and folks at the front desk that I'm not available for any new clients until early June. Third, I've said that I'll not take on any new assignments, ex. preaching, speaking, leading a workshop, etc. until mid-summer. Fourth, I've asked my colleagues to hold me accountable. I've agreed that they could look at my appointment book and calendar whenever any of them desire. When one's "Check Engine" light comes on, it is crucial to give it attention. So stop what you are doing, 'pull off the road,' figure out what's happening realizing that you probably need some help doing an assessment, make the necessary corrections and, finally, find someone or several who will hold you accountable.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Change and Discernment

In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy said to her dog, "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore." Dealing with change is not easy. I've lived in the same house since 1973 so obviously I value stability. Stability is one of the vows that has been important in the history of religious vocations. Nevertheless, change happens all of the time and change surrounds us. For example, the Seminary were I'm an Adjunct Professor has gone primarily to distance learning. So, I've had to learn how to teach an on-line class which involved my comprehending a new definition of "blackboard" and, then, how to use it. I like some changes. My response to many of the change-challenges has been to carefully choose how to respond. Adapting to changes creates changes in me, some so subtle that I don't recognize them for awhile. Therefore, it is important to discern how I respond to the changes that are happening around me. .