Sunday, November 22, 2009

Singing my obsessing away

I have the most annoying way of waking up in the night when it's too early to get up but too late to go back to sleep for any decent period of time and letting old worries enter my mind. It might be the fact that the FS has carpal tunnel or that Max seems to be off his feed or that an upcoming sermon topic has not begun to flesh itself out in my thoughts or that a situation in the congregation needs to be addressed and I don't know how. It's hard, when you're the minister and you're worried about a situation and you have been schooled to be the resident "non-anxious presence". You know that's what you've got to do, but it's hard, and this middle of the night obsessing doesn't make it easier.

That happened to me again this morning about 4 a.m. My mind immediately went to a situation I've been struggling with for a couple of months now and I began the hamster-wheel of reviewing possible approaches: say this, do that, whine, fret, get frustrated. You get the picture.

And then (not miraculously, because I had asked for serenity the night before in my prayer time) a song popped into my head, a song I'm singing lead on for Bayview Sound, a song I dearly love, which expresses for me many images of serenity and wellbeing. It's a Karla Bonoff song, which I have added to the bottom of this post.

And the song elbowed out the obsession, substituted its melody and sweet words for my fretting and anxiety: "Home sings me of sweet things, my life there has its own wings, to fly over the mountain, though I'm standing still." When the song ended in my mind, I fell asleep again and woke up an hour later still singing.

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