it’s been almost 7 years since i’ve hung out with my fellow priest folk. i’m currently enroute to california where i am heading to the episcopal diocese annual clergy conference. it’s a time when priests get together to rest and get their priest on. it’s been a long time since i’ve explored this area of my leadership and calling. i’m pumped to get back into it, but also a bit nervous. i was ordained as an episcopal priest in january 2008 after several years of discerning the calling and attending seminary for 3 years. to be honest it was an awkward, beautiful and very contemplative time in my life. after several years of service in the church i really didn’t fit very well in the structure. i describe my relationship with the church kind of like oil and water…both liquids, but never truly mixing very well. i was hungry to be more creative than the church walls typically allow and i also can’t stand rules. simply tell me i need to go one way even if it’s the “right” way and i’ll go the other just to show you that i can! i also felt God calling me to take the risk, to listen to the passion in my heart, to create something different, to follow the fire and vision i received in Kenya.
so here we are 7 years later and i’m heading to california to give it a shot…to reenter the church in some way, to share time with fellow priest folk, to pray, to listen and connect to God. there’s part of me that loves what the church stands for…where people of all shapes and sizes regardless of the brokenness are welcome and are received fully in love. however, i know from my own experiences that is rarely the case. regardless i still believe in the beauty that it is meant to be and hope to discover some of that love over the next few days.
i also just realized thanks to google that today is Leo Tolstoy’s birthday. a great figure with a heart on fire to know God’s love. here’s one of my favorite quotes by Tolstoy…happy birthday!
“God is the infinite ALL. Man is only a finite manifestation of Him.
Or better yet:
God is that infinite All of which man knows himself to be a finite part. God alone exists truly. Man manifests Him in time, space and matter. The more God’s manifestation in man (life) unites with the manifestations (lives) of other beings, the more man exists. This union with the lives of other beings is accomplished through love. God is not love, but the more there is of love, the more man manifests God, and the more he truly exists…We acknowledge God only when we are conscious of His manifestation in us. All conclusions and guidelines based on this consciousness should fully satisfy both our desire to know God as such as well as our desire to live a life based on this recognition.”
Entry in Tolstoy’s Diary (1 November 1910)