Reflecting on 2003

In looking to 2004 and doing some dreaming and some planning I spent some of yesterday afternoon (before I fell asleep) reflectingnon what had happened in 2003.

If you’d like an insight into my life and what happened for me this year then read on!

* Most Significant Event – Sam’s birth and our leaving Lesmurdie

* Most Enjoyable Book – Mindless Ferocity of Sharks by Brett D’Arcy (you’d have to be a West Aussie to like it!)

* Favourite Movie – Whale Rider – powerful and beautiful!

* Most Memorable Experience – not sure – probably seeing Sam for the first time

* Most Forgettable Experience – ‘holiday’ in Hedland where we were all sick for 10 days

* Most Transformative Experience – reading Hugh Mackay’s novel Winter Close – these two paragraphs in particular:

“Rich is fond of saying that the thing about Winter Close is that it fosters a real sense of community. That’s a big claim and I wish I could share Rich’s confidence in making it. Now that Sydney has grown to four million, communities are hard to come by: a common complaint among Sydneysiders is that ‘we don’t know our neighbours’ – as if that’s the neighbours fault. I’ve given up saying ‘why don’t you knock on their door and introduce yourself?’ The puzzled looks I receive make it clear I have missed the point: plenty of people like not knowing their neighbours and only pretend to complain about it. Suburbia offers the wonderful cloak of anonymity for those who want the security of proximity without any of the demands of intimacy” P.10

“The contract between neighbours is based on resistance to intimacy, so a quite different kind of closeness becomes possible: easy open, comfortable, but devoid of any ultimate responsibility or any glimpses into each other’s souls. These are adjacent lives – sometimes even parallel lives – rather than shared lives. We compensate for our physical proximity by keeping our emotional distance. These are not like relationships between friends, or even between people who work closely together – I know Maddy better than I know Rich, Abel, or Mrs Spenser, or Joe Riley. Perhaps the thing suburban life offers us is the possibility of living the life of a herd without the bonds of a tribe: proximity, familiarity, trust, support… but not intimacy. When we cross that line we cease to be neighbours and become something else” P.156

* Biggest Change – not preaching regularly anywhere – felt weird! Having no set routine.

* Biggest Buzz – getting to know our new neighbours so easily – great people.

* Regrets – gaining 5 kgs, losing my way with personal disciplines

* Challenges Ahead – losing 5 kgs and regaining a more disiplined life

* Toughest Challenge – leading a team of people on this journey of exploration with no map

* Greatest Joy – sensing God in the middle of that journey and seeing all of us learn and grow and face things head on.

* Most Significant Scripture Passage – Isaiah 55

* Things I Learnt:
– I can maintain and grow in faith without attending a Sunday church serice
– Other people can do that too
– You don’t stop being who you are just because you are on long service leave
– I may be losing my ability to communicate with teens
– Its still ‘God’s show’
– Measure twice cut once

* Greatest Discovery – Rambos – our local surf break

There is probably heaps more – but it has been a great ‘sabbatical’ year.

Now its down to business!…

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