In the early days of 2012, grieving over what wasn’t yet and some of what was, I resolved: No Excuses. Those two words have kept me moving, in times when I wasn’t sure or didn’t want to. Motion and doing are not everything, of course, but when you have miles to go, sometimes keeping on is half the battle. I got some courses taught, and a book published; kept on taking care of myself and my family; started learning new ways to love through the chaplain business. Sitting in the holy space of dis-ease and death and knowing Who held us all was a grace I needed and tried to share. I have been given so many gifts through my struggle with this work and those I have struggled with.
No excuses, indeed. Just keep doing the work, loving the people, and opening my heart to the wisdom that comes.
The phrase “Some Assembly Required” has continued to resonate through the days of Christmas. This is yet another lesson of the incarnation, a notion so powerful it is one of the things that keeps me in the Christian fold: in choosing to be born a human infant, God chose a path in which some assembly — and assistance — was required, both in the construction of God’s own body, and in the construction of the Christic community.
I am made in the image of this God. How could it be any different for me?
Looking ahead to 2013, I know I want to live into this understanding, commit to it, even. In every thing I say and do and become, let me be a builder. Let every person who comes in contact with me walk away stronger. When I dream and desire, let me commit to create.
I’d like to stop there. But the fact is, there is another realization and another commitment I have to make. As I have gone to water the fields of dreams, I have noticed that some of my buckets are too empty, and I have little to give. I can’t share acceptance and wholeheartedness and respect and grace and groundedness with others if I am not in receipt of them myself. As author and sociologist Brene Brown says, “…if we want our children to love and accept who they are, we have to love and accept who we are.”
As a parent, as a partner, as a pastor, as a human being, I need to practice the disciplines of self-love and self-care for my own sake. Period.
Not “in order to …”
Not “so I can …”
I have to build the house of my life, including laying a new foundation, even excavating if need be.
It feels late for that, honestly. But, on the other hand, how much longer should I wait?
Now is as excellent a time as any. Never too late. Never too soon.
2013. Some assembly required. What are you going to build?