Wednesday, September 12, 2012

the unforced rhythms of pace

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. Matthew 11:28-30

It’s been a busy wee period. Then suddenly, late last week, a half day meeting for today (Wednesday) was cancelled. Immediately I dashed into my diary the words “Booked” and headed for some balcony time. It’s a phrase from Ron Heifitz, who argues that if life is a dance, we need time to get far enough above the fray to see the key patterns, to gain perspective on conflict, to nurture relationships, to find sanctuary and recover a sense of purpose.

My first balcony task was to buy a new journal, as my current one was pretty close to full. In the process, I saw a playful pen, which I decided was just what my office needs. Plus, being in the shape of a flower, it felt symbolic. There are some lovely signs of fresh life springing up at Uniting College – new initiatives in regional delivery taking shape, the possibility of one year courses in chaplaincy and leadership and some new team practices and culture.

By early afternoon I was back at my desk, needing to work on mission shaped ministry teaching (hence the background image on my laptop – the Sony Bravia ad! – an illustration for a session on Engaging the community). But the “Booked” morning had been so beneficial – cafe time to reflect on what God is doing and beginning to isolate the next set of questions that might need to be asked.

A wise older minister once commented that part of sustainability in ministry is working the rhythms of grace. Yes, there will always be busy times. So when the slow times come, don’t fill them. Instead “book” them for balcony time.

Posted by steve at 10:05 PM


  1. I hope you “book” time with your other half as well. Max and I “book” time for movies and lunch together – it makes up for those days when we see each other at breakfast and bedtime!

    Comment by Maureen — September 13, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

  2. Thanks Maureen. Two lunches squeezed in this week, although one sadly shortened by a person forcing their way into my office,


    Comment by steve — September 14, 2012 @ 12:23 am

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