Monthly Reflection: August, 2013

In last month’s reflection I mentioned a sort of calm before the storm, feeling like I had some down time and not really knowing how to handle it yet at the same time not wanting to start something new for fear of what was about to come: the school year.  What if I were to have begun a noon Bible study, for instance, only to have to cancel it a month later for lack of time?

But now the school year is under way; the storm has made landfall.

My own kids have begun their routines of waking up to alarm clocks, eating a hasty breakfast and otherwise getting their things together for the day, going through a regimen of classes, lunch, and sports practices, tackling the evening homework load, connecting (sometimes not too) briefly with their extra-household worlds on Facebook, and sleeping in on weekends; and somehow Holly and I, between our own busy regimens of work, students, and chores, manage it all—getting the kids out the door in time for their days, juggling their sporting events, helping with homework, and cracking the figurative whip to motivate them to do their chores.

Additionally, the parish’s school year has begun, meaning a whole bunch of my day that was routinely open in the summer is now filled up if I so choose—chapel, pre-K chapel, visiting a classroom, lunch—or sometimes when I don’t choose, like when I’m on for a chapel talk.

And Sunday school is starting next Sunday, meaning I will be teaching a course, meaning prep.

Add this to my summer routine of weekly meetings, preaching roughly a sermon a week, the occasional other services like Thursday 7am Eucharist and funerals (I presided at one in August) and weddings (one over which I have yet to preside), the continuous stream of visitations, and other various meetings such as lunch with a parishioner or local priests and the monthly vestry meeting—add the new school year routine to the summer routine and, yes, my days are now quite full.

So I didn’t start that noon Bible study, fortunately.

But I did decide to audit a course at a nearby university, a Latin course on Apuleius’s Metamorphoses, also known as The Golden Ass, a title given to the story by St. Augustine.  It is the only complete piece of fiction from the classical world; but it also bridges the classical world of Jesus to the early medieval world of Augustine, a very valuable bridge for someone whose calling is concerned with these matters.  I’ve also joined the St. Luke’s choir ex officio; by which I mean I don’t sing with them on Sundays, because I’m not a ventriloquist, but I do rehearse with them on Wednesdays and hope to join them in some special services this year—Evensongs perhaps, and Lessons and Carols.  Oh, and they’re planning a trip to England next summer: perhaps they’ll need a chaplain. . . .

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Other highlights of the month include my first baptism as a priest, pictured here; and the opportunity to give away some money from my discretionary fund to worthy souls.  Both of these acts brought me a high degree of gladness.

Anyway, now a Saturday comes, or a night off, or my assigned day off, Monday, and it seems I now have enough to do.  “Today I think I’ll fix my motorcycle and then translate Latin all day,” I told my wife when I woke up yesterday.  She laughed and asked, “Can I quote you on that?”  I guess maybe I am a little eclectic.  But that’s one of the cool things about the priesthood: it’s a calling that allows eclecticism.

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