Singleness

2013-02-09 06.59.28

Been thinking about singleness.

The thought triggered as I trimmed my hair this evening…
(How come I keep finding myself trimming my hair at 11pm?)

It went like this (and this indeed sounds crazy)

“If I had a ‘special someone’ then they would be able to check the back of my hair
To let me know if I’ve missed a bit.”

You see, there are some bits that you can’t see yourself.
Even with the help of an iPhone camera.

Perhaps the problem itself is that I’m a 35 year old man
who cuts his own hair at 11pm in his bathroom.

My friends, who have it all together, who have this relationships thing sorted out, who are all grown up, don’t do this, do they?

So what do I make of the fact that I am a 35 year old single man?

A well-intentioned friend encouraged me recently that church leaders really ought to be married.
That somehow that step is essential.

I’ve always tried to have a ‘content rather than contempt’ approach to my singleness.
I don’t want to be that ‘desperate single guy’. Arwkard. Difficult. Doesn’t fit.

So why am I single?

I dunno.

Perhaps I am broken
unlovable
difficult
immature
too closed.

Perhaps I missed the class as a teenager
where they told me what to do.
Others just seem to get it.

Perhaps it’s my fault.

Perhaps this is just the will of God.

Perhaps I need to try harder.

In the meantime I continue to be content.
I cling to my contentedness.
And to trust.
And to hope.
And to not worry.

I’m sure the hair at the back isn’t too bad…

Advertisements

Day 12,785

6712_410765705682539_73742461_n

Birthdays.
Just another day, but not just another day.
What a special day. A treat.

All day has been a stream of well wishes,
and I feel very lucky.

What a privilege to have so many friends.

 

I am go grateful to God
for my life
for this world
for love
for the beauty and creativity that surrounds us
for friends old and new, present and future.

Yet again, on Valentines day I am a single man
but I am surrounded and loved.

Lent 2013

2013-02-13 21.38.18Lent has begun.

I spent this evening with the ash of burnt flax smeared across my forehead.
It’s not a normal way to spend a Wednesday evening.

But Lent is a wonderful way for us to challenge ‘normal’.

Lent challenges me that there are things, many things, that become important to me. Things that I can and must give up. Not because they are bad, or that the act of giving them up makes me more pious. Holiness doesn’t work that way. We give things up because in the act of sacrificing we become more fully human.

Lent reminds me that I love God more than I love my things.
Way more.

And Lent encourages me to make a change. To take something up.
Not, again, as an act of piety.
Not as an act of ‘self improvement’.
Not as a ‘new years resolutions take two’.
But as an act of creativity. An exploration of Kingdom life.
An openness to try something new for a season.

I love it. It is good.

Our journey toward crucifixion and resurrection carries us through both points.

Much

Much has happened since last I posted here…

704163_10151323092635610_225502487_o

At the end of November I was ordained as a priest. The ordination was preceded by a superb retreat at Tatum Park where the candidates enjoyed each other’s company, worshipped, prayed, watched films, discussed, and felt well loved.

The ordination experience was spectacular. Wellington Cathedral knows how to put on a great show, and it’s humbling to be the recipient of it once again. And humbling and very special to have friends and family attend in support.

To kneel on the steps as the cathedral sang “Holy Spirit Welcome” (a new kiwi anthem from Edge Kingsland) was incredibly powerful.

Working as a priest in Pahiatua/Eketahuna is the same, but different.

Intangibly, imperceptibly but undeniably, something has changed.

282974_10151190446597327_109185446_n (1)I had the humbling privilege of presiding at the wedding of Phil and Tamsen.

They had so many good people in attendance, better qualified than I to take the wedding.

But they asked me…
Brave couple.

It’s a nerve-wracking thing, these weddings. So much to keep in mind.

I had a ball. And it’s legal. And I love Tamsen and Phil.

Thanks guys.

774352_10151223286021937_1407551660_oNew Wine was fun. For the first time since Taupo days, I slept in my tent (I slept in my car for the three years at Rathkeale, and have had more comfy accommodation at El Rancho in recent years). Tenting is great.

This year I felt much more at home in Adult Zone (The Meeting Place), and helped in hosting and… gasp!… preached the last session. Think it went well – as always I am the worst person to judge my own speaking. Some positive encouragement afterwards.

As I progress through the year I am passionate that my life reflect that of a genuine follower of Christ. What does that look like? What must change? What must grow?

How can I fall more in love with God? How can I be more obedient? How can the fruits of the Spirit blossom in me?

Holy Spirit welcome. You are welcome here. Guide us Holy Spirit. Speak to us again.

Due Reason

Three weeks to go until my ordination as a priest, notice was read at church yesterday that if anyone has due reason as to why I should not be ordained to contact the bishop.

Of course I stuck my hand up. It was only kinda as a joke. Because I know myself. I know my flaws. I could come up with dozens of reasons, if not hundred. And I don’t just say that out of a false humility.

I am broken. Not as strong. The “wretchedness” of Romans 7 still rings true.

But the truth is also that I’m not the only person who really knows me. I am deeply and profoundly known by the God who calls and compels me. This God knows all of my flaws, shortcomings, addictions and brokenness. And mysteriously I am still called. And the amazingness of grace washes over me again. And so I sit in my brokenness with a smile on my face and hope stirring my heart.

May God’s holiness grow in me. May my life come to reflect more and more the fullness of who I am made to be. But may my identity be sure in who God is and who God sees me to be.