Knowing my place

It’s nearly two years since I moved from the Midlands to the South, since I left the energy industry and was ordained.  I’ve been away for a training weekend with all the curates from the Diocese, and it’s been a much more positive experience than I expected.  But why?

As usual, it has far more to do with how I feel about who I am than it does with anything else.  But there is one other factor that is really important.  Place.  I’ve been to that particular retreat centre five times now.   So I know my way around – to the various corridors of rooms, to the chapel, to the meeting rooms, to the quieter spaces – and the louder ones too.  I no longer have to invest energy in working out where I am and where I should be, and how to navigate between the two.  The food has improved immeasurably.  I’ve done a lot of walking in spare time around the area, and can find the peaceful spots outside as fast as the ones in the house and grounds.  

This sense of “knowing my place” meant I could concentrate far more on content of the programme, and had more energy available to invest in participating.  My contributions were clearer, easier, and as a result I felt my voice was heard.  Being grafted into a Diocese from another area has sometimes felt as though I don’t fit the mould – but this weekend that didn’t matter.  I could just be me.

This sense of getting to know a place, and so being released to be myself applies on a much wider level to life too.  I’m starting to find the energy to invest in the neglected bits as I spend less time consciously navigating.  But it has taken the best part of two years to get to this point.  

As we thought about change this weekend, our speaker reminded us that aside from all the strategies and ideas we had (including God and prayer), we had to allow time.  I think I may have learned this lesson in a very practical way myself – I hope it sticks for when we move.


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