This week has been packed beyond reason, and as a consequence we are spending a quiet evening at home instead of heading out to a gathering of friends. I realized a couple of days ago that the extra Lenten services and planning have added the equivalent of a full work day to each week, so I have good reason to feel a bit stressed. My consistent response to almost every question or suggestion for the past two weeks has been, "Talk to me after Easter."
This one has been a regular week, filled with small meetings and conversations, a stack of telephone calls, classes to teach, people to visit, and services and sermons to plan. And then there were the extras:
On Monday night, a friend and I presented an evening retreat on Ignatian spirituality for an ecumenical group. We had a small (fewer than 20) but enthusiastic audience, with several people from various arenas of our lives showing up. It's been ten years since I made the Spiritual Exercises, and at least a year since I've given them to someone else. For me, the evening turned into a much-needed reminder of that powerful experience of prayer.
Tuesday night, our church council gathered for what should have been a short monthly meeting but, due to one prickly issue, wasn't. Another item for the "after Easter" list of matters requiring my attention as an interim pastor.
Wednesday we held our final mid-week Lenten service, this one focused on healing. I had little to do with that one ~ it's an annual tradition and one of our members, a nurse by profession, did the preaching. We anointed and folks lit candles for a gentle, relaxing time of worship.
I'm not sure that I remember much of Thursday. Last night my daughter and I went out to see Hello, My Name Is Doris. There are two other films I really wanted to see, but I did not have it in me to spend a Friday evening on either heartbreak or serious political matters, so we steered clear of those.
This morning was devoted to a First Communion class for three lovely ten-year-olds, and then my daughter and I went for a walk together and began to plan a North Carolina backpacking trip for September. I came home and looked up trail information and checked out backpacking gear, and felt much cheered by the prospect of a week in the woods.
"After Easter" I am going to spend some concentrated time re-thinking all of these demands on my life. I love everything that I am called to do, but I don't want to be this busy ever again.