Last Sunday I was released from my ministry placement, and I have a month off before I begin my new one. This was originally intended as time to re-group, get myself organised, and rest a little. However, in the time since announcing I was finishing my placement, I’ve already done a lot of that work. Just the better headspace has made me much more efficient and happy, and I now find myself with a month off, and after just three days, find myself looking for things to do. I don’t have “work” to procrastinate over; I can’t do much more packing until we know when we are moving; and I find myself asking for jobs to do.
I’ve spent all day on the phone organising inspections for rental properties in Bendigo. And now it’s done, and I can do no more til we go look. Mission accomplished! Yet under-riding my day on the phone, has been an overwhelming sense of uselessness. The stuff that matters in the world today is stuff I can’t do anything about.
I can’t change the barbaric practices of the Indonesian government that has resulted in 8 deaths last night (how many more do we not know about when they don’t involve Aussies?)- I can only pray for their families, and I can only pray for change. Nor can I change what has happened in Nepal- I don’t have money to make any significant difference, and feel completely useless that I can’t do much practical beyond donating food and other goods.
My #firstworldproblems seem pathetic- and they are. And yet how easily we get wrapped up in our own little bubble and forget about the rest of the world happening around us. Maybe its the only way we can cope, cause if we think too hard we could be overwhelmed by the chaos and devestation. My little bubble currently involves getting ready to move house, being ‘unemployed’ for a month so living frugally, trying not to (but can’t help) thinking too much about my Dad’s cancer and what that means, supporting my husband through his studies and shift work, and everything else in between. My little bubble is a bit crazy at the moment, and yet is nothing, pathetic, easy compared to so many others. In some ways, making myself have some perspective on it all makes it easier, and yet having that global perspective brings its own burdens of guilt and desire to fix everything.
As always, when I feel like this (over and under whelmed simultaneously) I chat to God about it. I’m not sure whether God’s responses are in my own conclusions, or in the helping me move on and beyond the current brain explosion, but I do deeply feel God in the midst of it all.
Last night, as I lay awake, waiting for the unwanted confirmation that the executions in Indonesia had taken place, the only thing I could do was pray! There was nothing else that could be done, and I could do nothing else. And it helped. Maybe it only helped me feel a little bit better, but it does feel bigger than that. Sometimes that whelmed feeling that turns to God needs nothing more than the reassurance that I’m not alone in feeling all that I feel- in my bubble, and in the global community, and everywhere in between. I know I’m not alone in that feeling, and I know God is with me, and with the world, in it all. Reminding us we’re not alone, and binding us together in our shared humanity.
While I may have been released from a placement/job type thing last week, NOTHING can release me from shared, common humanity in this tiny life of mine. I can’t turn off my caring, my ministering, my love for the world and all its people- and nor would I ever want too. I don’t wish to be released from feeling lost, confused, useless, helpless, etc; because then I wouldn’t be who God calls and guides me to be.