Burning out

Ordinary Time 28/Pentecost 22 – Sunday

[ now playing? ] Michael Buble – “A Foggy Day (In London Town)” | Tony Bennett – “Smile” | Jamie Cullum – “Blame It On My Youth” | Karrin Allison – “West Coast Blues” | Jamie Cullum – “Next Year” | Nat King Cole – “Quizas, Quizas, Quizas (Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps)” | Tony Bennett & James Taylor – “Put On A Happy Face”

Good reading: Bishop N.T. Wright – 30 Sept 2008 at Westminster Abbey “Wisdom in a Troubled Time”

I seem to have picked up a bug from somewhere. Because I missed church this morning feeling rather tired and woozy. And I’m sitting here now typing this blog entry up with a nose that seems to have a never ending flow of clear mucous coming out of it (I wouldn’t be surprised if tomorrow it begins to turn the lovely yellow/green that indicates that I have an infection of some sort).

But more than likely, part of why this is the case is that I’m feeling rather burnt out. Hence the feeling tired and woozy this morning. I unfortunately have a tendency to give everything that I’m doing at work/church/home/whatever my all, and usually it ends up with me feeling like absolute crap for a few days and burnt out at least a couple of times a year. It doesn’t help that the past few weeks at work, I have been staying back late to get some of my various work duties done and then getting home at around 7pm+ each night. And that’s a long day for me.

I can’t say with any great deal of confidence that I have made a lot of effort to keep to my regula at all the past few weeks because, simply put, I’m shot.

If and when, lauds/vespers and compline seem to be harder and harder to follow. The intent is there, but Lord knows, I am so shot that I seem to be running on fumes these days (metaphorically speaking that is, I am by no means going anywhere near petrol or permanent marker fumes to keep me awake!)

Which meant that this morning even though I wasn’t at church, it was rather refreshing to pray lauds from the CoE’s “Common Worship” service book with my lectionary and Bible. Thankfully, I have a few religious articles in my room such as an icon of Christ Pantokrator and a hand-carved wooden Canterbury Cross which helped in turning a rather dreary service of the Word by myself in my bedroom into something that reminded me that even though I was at home sick, I was worshipping God with the public liturgy of the Church like tens, if not hundreds of thousands of Anglicans around the Asia-Pacific region and the world.

The past week was good though. On Thursday at St. John’s Cathedral, I ended up being the only person at the 12:30pm Eucharist apart from Canon Susan, so it was a small Eucharistic celebration with the two of us in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit in the South Transept.

N.B. I have a firm commitment to continue attending midday Eucharists at St. John’s so that the public praise and worship of God is maintained throughout the week as best as I possibly can. That is the one part of my lay-adapted monastic regula that I have been able to maintain quite regularly (thanks be to God). After all, what can be more important than the Opus Dei (whether it be the Divine Office or the Eucharist) that St. Benedict writes about in his Rule? The summary of worship at Westminster Abbey sums up the reasons why I’m there most weekdays and why worship at the Cathedral continues to be maintained:

(As adapted by myself)
To serve Almighty God in a ‘school of the Lord’s service’ by offering myself up to divine worship daily and publicly; and

To pray for all Christians here in Brisbane and our communal Christian life and witness to the world in which we live.

Anyway, I digress. After the service ended, I bumped into someone I haven’t seen in donkeys years. My old headmaster, Fr. Paul Bland. The last I heard, after his tenure at Canterbury was completed in 2002, he went up to Cairns to be the headmaster of the Anglican school there. We had a good old chat and it turns out that he is now back in Brisbane again serving as a part-time chaplain at Churchie and the remainder of his week working for the ASC.

I’m hoping to maintain contact with him because part of the reason why I am an Anglican at heart is because of him. In the witness he gave in my high school that although headmaster, he was firstly an Anglican priest. That meant that almost daily, he was to be found before school in the Chapel leading a small group of us in Morning Prayer and every Wednesday, either himself or the chaplain were the presiders over the combined Morning Prayer and Eucharist we celebrated.

I am wondering what perspective he can provide on the question of a vocation to the ordained priesthood in the Anglican Church in Australia. He’s been a married priest now for at least a couple of decades, so he should be able to help out in that respect or point me in the right direction. And to think that only a couple of weeks ago, I was wondering where he was and what he was up to. God has a funny way of providing answers.

+ Pax,
bf 2207hrs


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