I had a few days away last week - very welcome.
Weeks can go by without the opportunity to stop properly and to be able to reflect of what is going on. Over the break I managed to up-date a reflective work journal that I've been trying to keep. It's become more a record of what's been going on, with a few notes added, than a proper reflection. I suspect that is what it will remain.
However, that in itself tells a story about how time ends up being used. I can plan all I like how I will use time but plans are made to be changed - and they frequently are! A visit might take longer than expected - or I could end up making an unplanned visit e.g. when out walking the dog I've been asked in for a chat. A day in the study might be to prepare a service and then a couple of phone calls come and that means there are still e.g. hymns to be chosen or a theme decided upon.
All that said, when I re-read parts of the journal I realised, again, how varied is ministry, how spontaneous and how joyful. Of course there are hard days but most have many more good moments than bad. The love of God is always in the detail of life even when the overall picture is a bit dark. Looking out of my window just now I see grey clouds but I know that just on the other side is sunshine, and light and warmth - thank God!
Here are a couple of holiday pictures - we were up north at Scourie in Sutherland. The first is of some peat stacks (is there a more traditional word?), the second of sunset over Scourie Bay and the third of the lighthouse at Stoer.