Change in Seasons

As I sit here tonight its cold outside. Its windy and wet and it doesn’t feel like Perth. Perth is hot, dry and it doesn’t rain here… I think we all felt like that over summer and we’re probably all glad for the rain and the cooler weather. Its been a long time coming.

I’m not sure if its the weather or just the male version of PMT but today I feel unusually demotivated and irrititable. My mind keeps seeing a long open road somewhere in the northwest with a camper parked beside it and no responsibility anywhere close. No sermon to write, no retic to fix, no wondering if work is going to pick up or dry up, no wondering if I’m going to get another dodgy email from someone who wants to vent their spleen…

Some days I feel very weary, not just physically – although there is definitely that – but emotionally and spiritually.

The last few months I have noticed it moreso – the need to sometimes drag myself out of bed when usually I can be up and at it. The mind wandering to new ideas – new challenges. I see new business possibilities nearly every day, but I’m not sure I have the emotional energy to actually invest in them let alone the $$. I am conscious of the weariness and the need to address it.

Some days I really enjoy being a Christian pastor and other days I really want to give it all up. After 20 years of leading churches in one form or other I think I would like to know what its like not to carry the responsibility of leading a Christian community. I don’t think I have permission from my boss to do that yet, (my boss’s name is not Danelle by the way) but I’m curious as to what it would look like for the Hamiltons to not have the ‘pastor’ tag (which doesn’t fit very well anyway…) attached to them. I think Danelle and I both wonder what life would be like in that space – who we would be – how people would see us… We actually lead a fabulous bunch of people so I’m not weary of them – more just the ongoing constancy of the responsibility and the need to lead. I’m sure some of you know the feeling.

I don’t think I am enjoying ‘middle age’ much at the moment. As a person used to being focussed and moving from project to project I seem to have hit a steady patch – a period where the main task is to keep going. My problem is that I tend to equate ‘keeping going’ with losing a sense of adventure. I see it as ‘settling’ rather than stirring, but I’m reluctant to arc up something new unless I know its something more than a way of sating boredom. It’ll just require more energy.

I can’t say I hear God in this space much at all. I do meditate, pray, study etc, not particularly well, but I do them so I’m trying to put myself in a space where the ‘still small voice’, or the loud booming voice can be heard. But there isn’t much to be heard. Don’t you hate that?

For now life looks like ‘more of the same’. But I’m not actually satisfied here. I am grateful for the incredibly good life we have – no question there – but I feel like I have lost some of the more adventurous spirit that I had 10 years ago and I’m not happy about it. But part of the reason I’m not happy is that I don’t think I can simply ‘call it back into being’. I think I’d be faking it to try and be that person today and I find that a bit hard to understand.

I realise some of you are probably thinking that this is a little too raw for a public blog… but that’s the kind of blog I have been writing for the last 8 years now, so that isn’t changing.

So either I just need a really good holiday, or there is a change in seasons in my own identity. I think it may be a bit of both, but I’m finding it hard to figure out just who I am in a different space. I find myself both drawn to the desire for stability, comfort and an easy life and then just as equally repelled by it.

I find myself wanting to quit paid Christian ministry and yet unable to. I find myself wishing I was free from my business but then sparking with new ideas of how to develop it.

So that’s where my life sits at the moment. This post isn’t a preparation for any dramatic changes that are lurking – at least not that I’m aware of. Its just a ‘think out loud’ about what its like for seasons to change and for me to figure out who I am in a new space.

7 thoughts on “Change in Seasons

  1. I’ve just read Gordon MacDonald’s ‘A Resilient Life’ which taks about the first half of life being the preparation for the second half of life and for the greatest opportunities. He talks about the fact that many people don’t finish life well but those living a resilient life can continue having a worthwhile impact on the world.

    I wrote a bit more about the book on my blog and while it may not be the antidote to how you’re feeling, it may spark a few ideas.

  2. I’ll check it out Rod.

    I don’t imagine any of this is cause for panic, but rather just an experiencing of something new yet again in life.

    Can’t say I find it particularly enjoyable but I guess that’s how it is sometimes 🙂

  3. I remember having Gordon McDonald come to Whitty’s and spend some time with us as a staff. He talked about how his life had imploded at about 33yo (this was about 6 months before I found out exactly what that meant! ;-).

    One of the most interesting things I felt he talked about was the idea that people ask different questions at different (st)ages of life.

    Rohr talks similarly about the two halves of life (the ascent and the descent). He makes the statement that there is a need for new teachers in the second half of life because the teachers from the first half don’t actually know what the questions are in the second half.

    Not sure how these fit together, or if they are just random thoughts – i have found them both helpful frameworks as I have continued to journey.

    Peace for the road ahead bruthah.

  4. G’day Hammo,

    I could have very easily written the same thing (only not nearly as well or as transparently).

    I hold on to the thought that the best is yet to come. I am just hoping that I have the energy for it when it does!

    Thanks mate for your honesty; it has a wonderful liberating effect on me sometimes.


  5. “a long open road…and no responsibility”

    sounds like a sweet spot 🙂

    sometimes when I’m having trouble ‘hearing’, I change my focus onto what I’m ‘seeing’ … i love the artwork you chose to illustrate your post

    the spring summer and autumnal leaves remind me that our journey is cyclical, and perhaps as we are about to literally move into the season of winter, we can allow ourselves, a resting time, a period of hibernation or gestation that will allow what is yet to be born through us to take form and appear when it is ready

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