This week, Ben, Matt, and I joined the rest of the clergy in our diocese for the annual Clergy Conference. This year, in lieu of a rigorous time of training or formation, the focus was on rest. As a result, it was more of a mid-week retreat than a conference, which was really wonderful.
In one of the sessions, Bishop Jennifer invited all of us to reflect on “the roots of our restlessness.” Ironically, I filled the free time after that session with about as much work as I could possible fit into it, but when I was finally able to take time to reflect I found that a lot of insights bubbled to the surface.
Oftentimes, I’m restless because…
- I want to accomplish something important.
- I feel more competent at work than in the slower margins of my life.
- I am having trouble keeping pressing tasks from nudging me into anxiety.
None of the above observations surprised me at this point, but there were a few feelings that did:
- Joy at my enjoyment of work
- Gratitude that somehow my parents taught or formed me and all my siblings in a way that we all work really hard
- Settledness and pride that I am better able to rest well and am less restless now than I used to be
This rich time of reflecting allowed me to celebrate the work God has and continues to do in me, and it clarified areas that I sense the Spirit inviting me to partner in this work. There was no shame at work here. No sense of needing to prove my worthiness. As I noticed growth or strengths, I simply thanked God. As I noticed weaknesses, I chuckled to myself and thought “maybe that growth will come next.”
Friends, what do you notice when you reflect the roots of your restlessness?
Where do you see the fruit of the Spirit’s work or how do you relate to the areas where you feel lacking?
God is drawing us deeper into Kingdom life. It is God’s saving work in us and not our work to earn God’s salvation. As you reflect, I’d love to hear what comes up for you! Please feel free to email or pull me aside Sunday at church and share.
May you walk in confidence that you are enough and that you are beloved of God this week!