Blog writing has slipped through the cracks for me in the past three weeks. My husband’s post-surgery weeks have been a hazy time.
One of the things I’ve noticed in these recent weeks is my response to the frequent question, “How are you doing?” My consistent answer has been: “Adequate.” (Years ago an outlandish friend named Ashley introduced me to that word.) What has surprised me is people’s response to that answer: “Oh, I’m sorry. I hope it gets better soon.” I do not use the word adequate to register my unhappiness or to elicit any kind of sympathy for a less than acceptable condition. Adequate means enough, sufficient. I like the thought of having enough and being enough. I don’t always have to go for the superlatives of “Great, Terrific” or conversely “Lousy, Awful.” In any moment I don’t have to be better than adequate to be greatly content or terrifically grateful. Or at least I’m working on this kind of contentment and gratitude–not needing to be wonderful, the best, perfect, ecstatic, terrific…all of the time.
About two weeks ago I went to Alabama for a three-hour Praying in Color workshop at an enthusiastic, hospitable Episcopal church. This past weekend I traveled to Jerome, Idaho (new turf for me) to lead a weekend retreat for thirty people in the Episcopal Diocese of Idaho. The stark, scrubby beauty of the region was a shock to my east-of-the-Mississippi eyes. Browns, golds, and rusts blanketed the high desert ground, hills, and gorges.
My time in Alabama and Idaho reminds me how much I love being with a group of people in a corporate prayer experience and giving them permission to try a new way to pray. I feel honored to be invited into the role of retreat leader. Yesterday I read this quote In the Message Bible–(1Timothy 1:12) “I’m so grateful to Christ Jesus for making me adequate to do this work. He went out on a limb, you know, in trusting me with this ministry.” Maybe it’s arrogant to think that I have been entrusted with any ministry at all; but I like the idea that I don’t have to be perfect or wonderful to make a difference–just adequate.