Friday, December 12, 2008

A Good Wall

The parsonage wall is done. The back side of our house faced a dirt road and a landscaping firm with big trucks that begin working every day at 7:00 am. There was little privacy on the back side of the house, where all the bedroom windows faced. So the church council graciously allowed money to be spent to construct a retaining wall; for both privacy and water-drainage during heavy rain times. The wall expanded the back yard border by about 4 feet (still within the property line) and the way it faces south, it reflects the morning and afternoon sun, brightening up the whole space. But what it does most is give definition to what is home and what is work.
The ongoing challenge of life in a parsonage, a lovely home on the corner of the church property, is boundaries and definition. When am I at work and when am I home? What is public and what is private? When am I on duty and when am I off duty? Being 55 years old gives me an edge of maturity. I have a pretty clear sense of boundary that I did not have when I began ministry in 1980 (in a parsonage). We moved on to buy homes (2) and raise a family. I think it's much tougher on families with children than on empty-nesters. But the challenge is still there; to get away and get refreshed, so I can be fully present when I'm here. The wall really helps me visually.
But the wall is more of an illustration of what I need to be doing on a daily and regular basis; finding a quiet place and time, when I am given over completely to God and not the noises around me. The routine I began in France of reading the Bible (or devotional writers) first, before eating, showering or New York Timing, remains wonderful. Because I awake early and fast, that works for me. It might not work for others who wake up slower or later. When is the "wall-time" that works for you. How do you make the borders and boundaries between what is accessible to others and what is accessible to God?


At 7:56 AM , Blogger E Erickson said...

don't we all need to work on that? Thanks for the reminder!
Do you still find a way to listen to Cities 97?? Ellyn


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