Posted on January 29, 2008 by Amy Tolmie
I came into schools work four years ago, taking the advice about regular supervision sessions, avoiding burnout and the role's average life expetancy of 18 months very seriously indeed! In fact it was only at the beginning of this term after reviewing an amazing and hectic autumn that I was congratulating myself on starting yet another term. Then BAM! A side swipe came, and almost unnoticed, threatened to knock me off course entirely.
All of a sudden it was a struggle to get out of bed, all my passion seemed to have vanished and my energy drained away, tears would come at any point for any, or no, reason and not being prone to negativity I wondered what on earth was going on.
I'm still not much the wiser - in truth it's lots of different things - but I'm exploring and if you've started 08 in this place please don't stay there! Find a soul friend to talk and pray with, get some loyal supporters to cover you and your work with prayer and allow yourself time to just be ...and more importantly, to just 'be' with God.
It's all to easy to start "doing Christianity" in our role as schoolsworkers, as faith becomes almost professionalised and that first love for God slips into going through the motions, despite all best intentions. And it's too easy to ask God to help us in a crisis but then not take any time to listen to Him, or talk it through and so we end up holding onto it all and not really letting it go.
Disguises of Love is a poem by Eddie Askew, if you resonate with any of this I hope it will begin to move you to a happier, healthier place...
Thank you for all you do for me Lord
And all that you do for this restless world I live in
For the lives you create and sustain
For your love which holds and feeds me and gives me strength
For your activity underlying the universe, gradually, patiently, working out your purpose
- in spite of all I do to help!
And thank you for what you are, not just what you do
Thank you for being the strong ground from which I sow my life
The goodness in which all good is rooted.
Lord, there's a time for work and there's a time for waiting
A time to let your love soak in
Sinking into the hot dry earth of my being
Cool, refreshing and renewing.
The trouble lies with me, lord
The easy way I convince myself that if I'm not moving everything stops
The way I substitute action for devotion
and hide from your view behind a dust cloud of doing.
Doing, always doing,
In a restless fever of activity
Fingers plucking at the bedsheets of being
Yet never straightening them out.
But don't I have to share your love, share it with others?
And isn't the only way - you see, I'm not giving in easily, Lord - to do something?
Then another question hits me - you punch low, Lord - If I don't have time for you,
No time to be
No time for just you and me, in the quietness,
If I don't open myself to your love, unhurried, uncluttered
Then what do I have to share?