I'd say it's a symptom of my situation. A large part of my attention is naturally on the ongoing search for a sustained call of some sort. The problem is, I'm letting that ongoing process consume all of me at times.
Aside from a few days of vacation last week (nice, but maybe a little over-busy or over-scheduled?) I tend to get a lot of my attention sucked up by that search. With a slice of attention left for sermon-writing and other current requirements, and a small bit for following the Kansas City Royals' improbable postseason run, there goes my life.
To put it bluntly, there's only so much I can do. I can keep my pastor information form (famously called the "PIF" in Presby circles) up to date, I can have it sent to churches with a vacancy I might fit into or pastors who can forward it around, and I can do some research or reference-checking on the churches that have indicated an interest in following up with me. With occasional exceptions, that's about it. An actual scheduled interview warrants more time, obviously, but there is not a lot else I can do as far as the search process itself.
I could do other things, like write potential articles or studies or reviews for publication, or write hymns or responses or benedictions or prayers or all manner of other liturgical things. I could even blog on occasion. I could go have lunch with people. I could write letters (!!! -- o.k., maybe emails) to people I don't get to see in person that often. I could read that growing stack of books on my nightstand.
But I don't do any of those things, because even when there isn't necessarily any specific constructive thing I can do search-wise, my mind is all sucked into worrying about it. And I don't do those things that could be beneficial to my future or at least to my current state of mind. And I get cranky, because I'm not being productive or creative or at least self-nurturing, and because I don't get any closer to a call by having all my attention sucked up by worry.
You tell 'em, kid.
I get distracted at work or when writing sermons, so I feel less successful or productive even in the work I have to do right now. And I get cranky again.
Because so much of my intellectual and emotional energy is thus derailed, there's not much room for creativity. This blog has mostly turned into a sermon-posting place. It's not bad for this, but that is not all it is meant to be.
Devotional or meditational life is obviously not helped by any of this. It might escape me (when I have plenty of time to do it, bluntly put) or be flat and lifeless and pointless when I do get to do it. That doesn't help.
This will be a short entry (frankly, the point was to get a blog post done, period, even if I only typed in dictionary entries), but I will flat-out say there are things I don't want to see in response to this (normally I'm begging for comments, but this time I'm nearly forbidding them).
If you are one of my recent classmates who is already in a call, you don't get to say anything. Period. I am not even remotely joking.
If you attempt to "comfort" or "encourage" me, I promise you I will absolutely cut you completely out of whatever social-media life you accessed this article from. Unfollow you on Twitter, unfriend you on Facebook, whatever. I am not despairing of a call. There are enough balls in the air, to use a juggling analogy, to keep me from that. I know what I'm good at doing, and don't need to be told that.
If you even think of quoting lyrics from this to me you are dead to me.
What I'd be happy to receive; some strategies for dealing with the ennui or energy-suck of the waiting process. Do I just need to make like the professor I used to be and assign myself a blog entry or hymn text a week or something? What is a good plan of attack for getting myself off that mental block?
If you're also in this spot, feel free to commiserate.
What I do not want is to let myself be defined by the current state of the search. I need to be a creative, spiritually growing, contributing person, not a sack of worry. That's bad for me, bad for my wife, bad for everybody. So help me get off the pity train and get to being something other than that. (Private messages are fine for that.) Assign me something to write or do, if you have an idea.
I need something, some thing (or things) to bring me back into focus. That's what I'm in search of, nothing else, really.