It has been an extremely stressful and emotional day, much the same as the day of my ordination to the Diaconate on the Feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, (24th June), 1978. I remember the excitement and the joy of the day itself, my unbounded enthusiasm, my energy, my impatience to get going and into ministry rushing head first into something I really knew nothing about!
Todays morning prayers were supplemented by great reflection on that day and how I've changed. My expectations are very different, my experience great and very varied, the joys and the pain that have moulded me into what and who I am today - still a servant of God, but perhaps with lots less energy and certainly a different sort of enthusiasm.
I remember sitting with my mother and father when everyone had "gone home" after a massive party, and just bursting into tears! I think I suddenly stopped laughing at one point and just broke down instead!
The rest of today was spent in great activity, one of those days when I rarely had a moment to myself. Emotional pastoral moments, holding the hand of a very sick friend, emotional family moments, some serious theology teased out with an unexpected visitor to the church, and the practicalities of a Site Meeting and wandering about the new hall in construction. I guess it was days like this that I dreamed about 31 years ago.
Today too has left me drained, and as I think of sleep, I realise that perhaps too often a day's ministry means suddenly stopping laughing and realising my real and utter need of God in my emptiness.