Thursday, 19 November 2009

Despite the Positives...

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!

9 comments:

susan s. said...

I know how you feel about the letdown after the Hall is finished. As far as I can tell I do not suffer from the black dog kind of depression you do, but there's always that sort of let down for me after a big 'event' that I have been working on or for. It takes a day for me to recover from being out and on my feet all day on a Sunday. I thank God that I can rest on Monday, and have _almost_ quit worrying that I'll never be as good as I perceive others think I should be. Hang in there Kenny! Oh, and quit reading that book!

frdougal said...

Why do we always worry about the "might" rather than the "is"? Your is is excellent just now! Prayers that the beastie stays kennelled!

Chris said...

My mother used to say "you're suffering from reaction" when I got low after some excitement!

But more seriously: you may be reading all this stuff from prospective bishops, and knowing what you need from the selected one, but I can tell you that your ministry would do us a power of good here right now! And it's the courage to express vulnerability that stands out here.
You're in my prayers.

Fr Kenny said...

Dunoon is the answer then? Cal mac and rain!

Chris said...

Ah, but think of the people there. :-)

The Word Verification is "harmo" - you get good harmo here!

Eamonn said...

The weather we've had recently along the Clyde would depress anybody, whether they suffer from the black dog or not. You're not alone.

Comparisons are always dangerous. Each person's ministry and spirituality are unique, and measuring oneself against what one is not is the way to stifle one's own gifts.

Courage!

Battersea Boy said...

Everyone feels "down" from time-to-time and, for me, there is always the dreadful thought that I could be in for a
relapse. It sounds as if you are having a similar experience.

I therefore don't have any easy answers (or difficult ones, for that matter) and just want to thank you for being willing to share your vulnerability. May the God of all love, wisdom and cheerfulness make his presence felt in your life as you continue to lean upon him and learn from him. You are in my prayers.

anniet said...

'How do I measure up to these extremely holy and insightful people?' you ask. Extremely well, if Wednesday's Mass and the theological conversation between a congregation of lay theologians round a coffee table is anything to go by. Folk felt safe to say big, scary things - that's down to great leadership, I reckon.

Rambling Rector said...

Walking the Retreiver, a game of golf and a cuddle with RW (though not necessarily in that order)works for me. Hang in there mate you are in our prayers,