i was just reading this post from nakedpastor and i thought it resonated with so much of what i've been experiencing over the last few months. mainly the fight against the melancholy. he speaks of being mainly melancholic with a few bouts of happiness and that his default setting is being reset, so that he is getting there with being happy and occasionally sad.

one of the saddest things that someone said to me at the end of last term was that i had lost my 'sparkle'. it just took so much energy to be the me that was sparkly, that eventually there was no energy left to maintain 'me'. but, and here's the thing, if 'me' no longer has 'sparkle' as a default setting, then how long is it before that doesn't define 'me' anymore? how long before it is normal for me not to be 'sparkly'? if default setting slowly and grindingly becomes 'sad', how long before 'me' is 'sad' and that is normal?

i think that i am getting a bit of a reboot now, half of my placement is almost over and i've done so much practical stuff and am constantly thinking through what it means to be priest in this place, it's wonderful. some of my friends are getting ordained on sunday and i can't help but feel a little jealous that it's not me yet, as well as feeling completely elated for them. i'm enjoying myself and that is a very good thing. these experiences, these people that i'm meeting and the friends that i've made are nourishing to me in a way that is so rich.

anyway, my point is, that i believe that 'who we are' is made up of all the interactions we experience and the way that they form us, 'me' is who you make me, i make choices about the experiences i have and people i meet and the friendships i form some of the time, but not all of it. and so the 'me' i am, can change, fundamentally.

i know this because i have changed. i know this because God promises me that i will change. my DNA is not a snapshot of 'me' when it comes to personhood. so, after all, perhaps it's not a reboot, perhaps it's a recondition. not going back, but taking all that i am and moving forward.

still, i can't help but hope that the way forward includes some sparkle..........


nakedpastor said...

Don't lose your sparkle! And if you have, for God's sake and yours get it back!!

radical evangelical said...

thanks david! :), i am definitely endeavouring to get it back.

i'm only at the beginning of this priestly pastor journey and the institutionalisation of the training is just so soul-sucking - i need to find some way of navigating it all so i not only survive but thrive...and sparkle :)