One of the articles that I read and re-read (and then read again) during my sabbatical is Overwhelm: Not a Problem to be Solved. In it, Susan Beaumont writes that we are in a liminal season: "Something has ended, but a new thing is not yet ready to begin. In liminal seasons, systems and processes break down because they are supposed to. Much of our overwhelm comes from trying to preserve or adapt things that are meant to fail."
Yikes! Some things are meant to fail! But who likes to fail?! Personally, I want to be a "success"! I want to see results! I want to guide West Parish to being bigger, stronger, faster, better! (I say that with a wink, of course.) And yet, in this liminal season, some things are going to fail, and they are meant to.
Beaumont suggests that we feel overwhelmed when we try to fix things that cannot be fixed. "No amount of skill or hard work on your part will resolve the deep disorientation of your organization now. It will only leave you feeling exhausted... No amount of problem-solving will fix what is breaking."
It is uncomfortable to sit in the disorientation, uncomfortable to allow things to break down, uncomfortable to name our losses, uncomfortable to not know what church will look like in a few years. And yet that is where we are.
Where do you feel overwhelmed? What parts of your life do you see breaking down? What might you be trying mightily to "fix"? Where can you let go? A nd perhaps most importantly, can we trust that "something new" is, indeed, emerging? Can we trust that as we move through this wilderness time that resurrection is in our future?
Good People, I will repeat these themes over and over because I believe they are so important for us to digest, so we might move through this time with awareness and compassion. I pray that each one of you is able to breath and let go of "fixing" where you are able. It is all in God's hands.