It's been almost a week since the last of my reflections on my time at Duke Divinity for my DMin intensive. I would love to say that things are finally getting back to normal, but I'm finding that 'normal' the way I knew it no longer exists. I am now tasked with defining and establishing a new normal. It's hard to go back to the way things were when you are no longer who you were before.
The most obvious thing that is new about my 'normal' is my time- I now am going to have less of it. I must now be more intentional about how I structure my time and to whom (or what) I give it. Not only do I have to give up mindless activities like watching randomness on tv, but the merit and importance of every activity (professional, ministerial, and otherwise) must be weighed carefully. If I find it does not add to me or move me further along in a particular direction, I can't do it no matter how good an idea it might seem.
Limited time to split between serving at church, building a ministry outside of my home church, caring for my number one ministry- my marriage, keeping a business alive and well, and walking through open doors as opportunities become available all has made me value my time and even my gifts in a very different way. My new normal is a very challenging space with ambitious objectives, but I believe it is a healthier space. My new normal is showing me where to draw boundaries and how to walk away without hesitation from things that are not working. Limited time almost demands it, especially if I am going to make room for the new. My new normal might not be where I expected to find myself when I left for North Carolina two weeks ago, but I am thankful to now have arrived at this surprising destination.