I had the best of intentions: take what I had begun to explore in Clinical Pastoral Education residency and continue that exploration through a Sabbath ritual of blogging on Art and Sabbath. I even took the first step: set up the blog – name it, choose a layout, write an intro, add it to the bookmark bar on my Safari browser.
I never did more with it: the blog has been languishing over the last year or so, a thorn that asked me whether I was really taking a sabbath, and an unwelcome reminder that I had committed to doing this thing in this semi-public sphere of the internet so that I might feel accountable to my word out there in the world but had so far failed to live up to that word.
What I’ve discovered in exploring this, in good CPE fashion, is that I have been stuck because I wanted to have a whole big concept and work around it, and say something always meaningful and cogent about it – to somehow tie sabbath and art, in all their different variations, into some grand system that would add something new to all the words that are being written out there. And I wanted to produce art, whether food or painting or craft, that would somehow help me reflect on sabbath-taking more deeply. This is what had me stuck about blogging, about the possibility of Ph.D. work… well, about a lot of things. Wanting to add something new to the larger system that is at the same time its own complete system in which all the parts just fit… and to do it well.
But I remember now the many conversations with patients and families who say, “I don’t know what to do” or ” I wish I knew that I was doing the right thing, or saying the right thing.” Take it one day at a time. And when that doesn’t work, take it one hour at a time. And when even that hour seems too big, take it one minute at a time.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. – Psalm 119:105
The lamp makes just enough light to shine on my feet and maybe a few steps beyond. It doesn’t shine on the whole system of roads. It doesn’t shine far enough to show that the roads all just fit. But it does shine. And I can take a step forward… and rest in knowing that this is what matters.
Start small. Start small. Start. Small.