The Black Dog of depression is never far away. Maybe it's the rain, or the lack of good sunshine? The last few months of ministry, and life in general, have been good and positive months, but as I sense the dark clouds looming on the horizon, I fear that I'll be burdened with them again, or will the brilliantly resurrected "me" be able to fight them off and stay sane and bright?
A couple of blows to my ministry and its effectiveness this past few days hasn't helped, but it's how I perceive them that makes the difference. The Study Group on Tuesday was not good for me. On the one hand I have to be the Man of Faith who knows all the answers, yet a "Seeker of Truth" who will express doubts and wish to explore them! Somehow I felt caught in the headlights and torn apart by differing expectations. Yet it was "me" who laid myself bare, and that was disturbing for some. Whose side am I on? God's side, I hope, and a God who wants to lead us into all truth, however unsettling that may be to our traditional ways of thinking.
I think, too, there is a sense of anti-climax within me on the completion of the new hall. Now, tired after all the exertions, I'm called to lead this little faith group at St Auggie's into an exciting future where mission and ministry will be discussed and developed. That can be a daunting task, but as I read through completed questionnaires from prospective bishops, I know what I want and need in a bishop at the moment!
It is in reading through these answers, these questionnaires, that I feel very humbled and particularly inadequate as a priest. How do I measure up to these extremely holy and insightful people? Perhaps currently reading John Pritchard's book, "The life and Work of a Priest!" has not helped much! It, too, has challenged and found me feeling "wanting" in so many respects.
So, it's on to working on the positivity, in the hope that the dark clouds are kept at bay!