(being an ironic title for a post being written while I fail to get on with tomorrow's sermon)
WonderfulVicar and I went to a CME training session this morning for Incumbents and Curates, which among other things considered the way the training partnership works (or doesnt) and how a working agreement may help in addressing tricky issues en route.
We have, imho, quite a good working agreement and what's more it is a fairly accurate reflection of the reality of our lives...but one thing which the morning highlighted for me was that while we are both very good at recognising and admitting our weaknesses to one another (they tend to be similar, as we're alike in our aproach to most things) we are both utterly hopeless at actually doing anything about them.
So, for example, I regularly agonise over blurry boundaries between time on-line that might help my personal/ministerial development and time on-line that is pure self-indulgence...
or I lament my inability to make good use of the odd half hours here and there that are such a feature of the working day....
or the appalling backlog in accounts and expenses, and the state of the study floor.
I chunter about the number of books I have on the go, that I never actually finish or reflect on.
I groan about the reactive nature of so much of my ministry, and wonder what happened to the determination to be visionary and strategic.
And there it rests.
But, honestly, that's not OK at all.
This curacy is a precious time in which to develop skills and habits that will sustain me when I'm out in the Big Bad World on my own....and I can't afford to leave so much rubbish lying around the place.
So for starters, WonderfulVicar and I are going to keep a record of what we actually do with our time in the 2 weeks leading up to Christmas. He maintains that I will be pleasantly surprised at how much I actually achieve. I'm less certain of the outcome, but am glad to have a mechanism in place to keep me thinking.
We're also going to read a book and diary in a slot to discuss it EVERY MONTH.
I suggested too that he forbid me to preside at the Eucharist until I've submitted my expenses for the past 5 months...I don't think he took me seriously, -but the rest of you could perhaps rattle sabres at me in a menacing way from time to time.
This is my 3rd year, after all. Gloucester curates are expected to move on sometime during their 4th year,- which gives me till July 08 at the most. In other words, the spectre of incumbency is beginning to loom and while there is much I'm looking forward to, I have a pretty good sense of the gaps in my knowledge and the shortcomings in myself. Time to address them, as far as possible. If anyone fancies asking awkward questions as to my progress once in a while, I'd (probably) appreciate them!