I have been in chaplaincy for nearly 5 years and I’ve stopped asking a question to a colleague of mine. The question being “Is this normal?” I don’t know about you but I find it tricky to answer when asked to describe a typical day for a chaplain. Especially early on when everything was new and each day held something very different. Hence the seeking of something, perhaps reassurance with the question to my colleague. What is normal is that each day can hold great moments of joy as well as sadness and sometimes those moments in between. Each day is full of things known and many things unknown, its busy, and as you have probably experienced yourself or can imagine, by the end of term, you are exhausted.
I’m not much of a planner, I should work at setting time aside to reflect on the term, the year so far, in order to grow my thankfulness to God for what he is doing, in my life, in the lives of those around me and in the life community that I serve, but I have not scheduled it in to date. A friend of mine has a daily habit where they write and post the things that they are thankful for on social media. I’ve never told them but it is a great encouragement to see these posts pop up in my feed.
Thankfully God provides moments and people to bring encouragement and to help me personally reflect on his goodness, greatness and graciousness. For me, I was at a friend’s birthday and I was asked “How have you seen God at work this year.” What I am most thankful for is that I didn’t have to think hard or for a long time before things started popping into my mind. Conversations where you God’s spirit is clearly present, the timing of meetings, the generosity of others, and signs of new faith and growing faith, for the faithfulness of colleagues and students, thankfully the list continues. The year so far has not been without its challenges, heartache and tears but God has kept his promises, he is with us. My answer to the question began with the statement “in many undeserved ways…” The conversation was one of those ones that energise and for that and the things that came to mind I am eternally thankful for. God’s timing once again.
At the end of one term and the beginning of another I am thankful and I pray that in reading this you might also find time to reflect on where you have seen God at work this year.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good and his love endures forever (Psalm 107:1).