I promised I’d blog every day for Easter. I didn’t promise every post would be profound or brilliant or long or any combination of those. Today’s will not be any of them, but I made a commitment and I’m sticking to it. Today I spent much of the day studying, both at home and in Plymouth, working on a seminar paper I’m writing for my MA. But by far the best bit about today was the evening.
You see, one of the joys of being stationed where we are is that some friends of ours from Cambridge live just 20-25 minutes away, on the English side of the Tamar, up on the edge of Dartmoor. So this evening, having been in Plymouth all afternoon (me reading, writing and drinking coffee, Mrs Nomad and Wee One shopping), we headed up the Tavistock road and spent a brilliant time chatting, relaxing, eating curry and chocolate, drinking tea, coffee, beer and wine, watching a movie on the tv, and generally doing what you do with friends – being yourself with no pressure to be anything else.
Being in a role such as the one I live, and which my mate lives, brings many challenges, which include the fact that no matter how much you wish to be, you cannot simply “be yourself”, because part of who you are is representational and so you need to represent various things to various people, institutions and situations. Time with friends allows you time out of that expectation and requirement. To have a good friend so close, from the start of ministry, without having to spend time building such a friendship first, is, truly a Godsend, not just for me, but for the whole family.
Of course, I have other friends, elsewhere, whom I wish I could spend more time with. We all need friends, even Ministers, because we all need people we can truly be ourselves with, with whom we can relax and unwind. So tonight I thank God for good, strong friendships, with those I wish I could see more often (even if I speak to them frequently by one medium or another), and with those I get to spend time with regularly – though still not nearly enough!
Whether your journey involves many friends or just a few, travel well.