After a month's hiatus from the blogsphere, life is showing signs of tilting toward the recovery of routine, which--for me, at least--is essential to this...now, what shall I call it? What exactly is blogging, anyway? A "practice"? A "discpline"? The medium is still so new that one hardly knows what it actually is. It's sort of like writing a newspaper column, but the vast majority of bloggers don't get paid for what they produce, and there are no deadlines other than those that are self-imposed. It bears some resemblance to journaling, and there is an illusion of privacy about it (and the consequences of trusting that illusion can be devastating), yet it is in fact quite public.
Anyway, I'm writing late on a Saturday night from the back room of a (walkout) basement, which is shared by the household computer and my exercise machine (a Bowflex ). We've been in the place all of six days and are only now making significant progress in digging ourselves out from under an avalanche of cardboard and packing paper. Tonight I finally found the speakers and power supply to the entertainment center and spent about 90 minutes hooking it all up, only to find, at the moment of truth, that the amplifier has no power. It's plugged in, but pressing the power button produces no result. My Favorite Plutotian tells me she has the toll-free number of our moving company, and that one of the options is a number to press for Claims. I shall be exercising that option come Monday. In the meantime, I still can't play a CD or watch a DVD.
All the while, I've been in my new ministry for four days, and tomorrow is the big day--my first Sunday. The whole experience is at the same time immensely gratifying and immensely intimidating. Parishioners have been over-the-top kind to us (tomorrow will be the first dinner we are responsible for ourselves) and the staff has bent over backwards to help me get comfortably settled. But there's a delicate dance involved when a parish priest takes over the reins. People want a sure hand at the helm, a calm and steady voice. They are looking for me to provide a sense of momentum and new energy in the life of the church community. But they also had an identity and a history before my arrival--an identity and history that deserve to be honored. So it can be tricky to discern where that fine line is between leadership that is too weak because it doesn't challenge or open new windows, and leadership that is foolhardy because it tries to change too much too fast and doesn't sufficiently honor the recent past. I pray for the wisdom to walk this line effectively.
I also pray for our house it Stockton to sell, and sell soon, and I covet your prayers toward that same end!
More soon on the Brazil trip. I know some who read this blog enjoy travelogues.