On one hand I am so excited that Fresh and Re:Fresh is about to be published. I'm also ecstatic that I have been asked to guest preach at the church I grew up in, it is their 248th anniversary service - what an honour. And this weekend is my masters convocation, what could be more satisfying than that? But at the same time I'm realizing just how burned out I am. I have been going full time for three years with barely a break and I was hoping that this semester would be a lot lighter than it is turning out to be. I have been putting off starting a new church group simply because I don't have the energy. It is not a fun realization.
It was a bit of a relief to actually admit to being burned out. But at the same time it is quite difficult knowing what to do about it. I know I need rest, and in fact I've been escaping quite a bit more than is healthy (mostly into watching tv series on the internet) and I've had stress related neck pain for at least two years now (in the last year it has the tendency to migrate into my head with very painful results). But the worst thing is that I stopped being present to my friends and family in the way I used to. Last year I blamed it on the intense masters programme, but as I set out some goals around family time I am realizing that it is something much deeper. If it comes down to family or continuing studies, studies is not going to win. In fact Sharon would really like me to take off a semester and be a stay-at-home dad, not sure how that screws up my scholarships though? But after that last SSHRC session I think I have a fundable project.
On the happy side, it has been really nice to spend some quality time with the family. We spent Sunday afternoon at the McKenzie King Estate, the waterfall is dried up right now BTW. Elyssa is coming Down East with me when I preach at First United. She is so excited about going on an airplane. It will also be really nice to see some of my old friends. I took yesterday off and hung out with Sharon in the day, and my buddy Vince in the evening (Vince needed some help with his resume, it is looking quite spiffy now). I really don't have much to complain about in terms of family and friends - I'm really blessed in that department. For me it is making sure that the people who are most important to me are not lost in the midst of all my busyness.
Just a note about the book. I had the amazing opportunity to write the last chapter, just before Roxburg's (someone I really appreciate!) conclusion. The chapter is called Treasures in Clay Jars and it is the story of Freedom Vineyard in dialogue with Louis Barrett's distinctives of a missional church. This is an important book as it gives you a sense of what the Canadian emerging church is doing.