I’ve collected all the miscellaneous blankets in the house to wash and fold them. I’m on my third load now. Every time I take a load from the dryer, the world is fragrant. Every time I fold another blanket, taking great care that the ends meet, the world is well-ordered. That small tower of blankets gives me a sense of control in the world. And it’s the illusion of control that stays the anxiety. The blankets are a shore for my spilling ocean of responsibility.
School started just a couple of weeks ago, which means I started back, in earnest, to meeting my deadlines. I knew that the fall would be busy. I’m leading a large project at church, which is lots of fun if also lots of work. The mid-week meetings and phone calls are a welcome break from the reclusive work of writing, and the challenge of leading others, rather than simply leading myself, is an important point of personal growth. (As I’m learning, doing the work is hardly the same thing as leading others to get it done.) The project, which involves both the publication of a magazine as well as the coordination of a large event, taps into all the things I really love to do: connect people to each other and to a larger contribution they can make; think creatively about the work of witness; write and research; vision and execute. The project, inspired by the book, Slow Church (C. Christopher Smith and John Pattison), is meant as a community outreach and marks an important event in the life of our church: the renovation of the 1878 historic Old St. Andrew’s, which will be our church’s new home. I’m excited about everything I’m doing, convinced that the vision truly was God-given—and simultaneously unraveled by the amount of work. On the outside, I may seem unflappable. On the inside, I am crushed under the weight of to-dos and timelines.