I'm off to the beach tomorrow for a long weekend.
One of the reasons I really wanted to move back to Portland was the ease with which one can just hop in a car and go somewhere beautiful and interesting, as compared to New York. Of course, New York has lots that is both beautiful and interesting, but you'll be waiting in line to see it. A personal goal I made for myself upon arrival in Oregon was going somewhere and doing something out of the ordinary at least one weekend a month.
Yeah, that didn't happen.
Whether it was due to scheduling, inclement weather, an unreliable car, cash shortage or some combination of the above, I haven't managed to take a little weekend trip by myself since the week before I started my new job -- in October. Admittedly, over President's Day Weekend I did travel to the coast with pal Glenn for a couple of days, but as much fun as that was, it doesn't quite count, because, introvert that I am, I really prize going off by myself to recharge.
Recently my mind has been heavily preoccupied with ideas about what to do with my life. I designed this weekend with the thought that I would devote many hours to prayer and meditation in the hope of some enlightenment, while I continue to ponder exactly what it is I think I want to do and brainstorm some concrete steps toward getting there.
The last part is what has flummoxed me. What I'm thinking about is relatively ambitious. (No; just to put rumors to rest, I am not joining the priesthood -- for now -- nor am I running for office.) I've been wondering, just how do I make this happen?
Then yesterday my parish newsletter arrived. The rector is currently on sabbatical, traveling around the world pursuing some of his many various interests. In his letter home to us, he related the adventures he is having on his journey and the surprising ways in which they relate to his ministry goals. "But that's the wonderful thing about being intentional about things," he writes. "Once we decide to do something, the opportunities start presenting themselves."
That phrase just leaped off the page at me. I just had a sense that was something I was meant to hear just in that moment. Is it true, I wonder?
Then I thought back on things that have happened to me recently. There was my selection as a committee co-chair on the GLBT association at work, the profile in the local gay newspaper, my election to the vestry, the youth mentoring opportunity, the pride organizing at church, my unlikely opportunity to represent the company at the BRO luncheon, the brand new invitation to join a committee working with the Diocese and, of course, that totally random spot on the radio talkshow. All of these things relate quite directly to the goals I am forming for myself.
So I'm off to stare at the ocean, formulate some ideas, make some plans, and dream some dreams. I'll have no internet access. I should be back Sunday mid-afternoon.
* * * * * *
As I was packing tonight, the associate rector -- who has become a good friend -- called to wish me a safe journey and to update me on some parish business before I left. Then he added, "I've been hearing a lot recently from people who were out at the coast and had sudden 'God-moments.' So, don't be surprised if you have an epiphany or two."
I'm counting on it.