Some big changes have occurred in the past month and Spring 2011 is shaping up to be both exciting and daunting. First, we bought a house! It’s in the center of town in an “older” part of Jupiter. We close on the 19th, but since it was a bank-owned property, there is much work to be done to get it fixed up. Being in the construction industry for the past 8 years, I have a lot of favors to call in…and I’m calling all of them in. We are also putting out the call for our friends to move to this neighborhood and to form a small intentional community.
Next, we’ve made a transition within the Well in order for us to give away what we have and prayerfully birth three new faith communities over this year. We have connected with two couples that lead churches that share a meeting space in town. God has given us some great times in prayer and shown us how to support one another in spite of our differences. They have invited us to also share the meeting space for a ridiculously small amount of money. Our plan is to use it as an incubator to form these new communities. I’ll talk more about that in an upcoming post.
Then…there’s work. Our office has been running wild for the past few months and there is no end in sight. That’s good news, but also stressful. On top of all that, my professional engineering licensing exam is scheduled for April 8th. I need to put in about 200 hours of studying before then. You do the math…I’m sunk!Hence, becoming a reluctant monk. A few of my friends have adopted a semi-monastic lifestyle in the midst of their “normal lives”. They get up at ungodly hours, read ancient prayers, and make decisions about their lives that go far against the grain of normal American Christianity. Something in me has been attracted to that idea, but I hate early mornings, have never been a fan of scripted prayer, and feel the choices I’ve made are pretty radical without being too weird.
But then, last week almost killed me.
The stress of everything going on and everything I have to get ready for just about sent me over the edge last week. I need a deep re-ordering of my time and priorities in order to make it over these next three months. A confession: I’m an engineer – my brain works on one thing at a time. Multi-tasking is not a strong suit of mine. All of this thrown at me at once usually causes me to shut down – or boil over.So I am becoming a reluctant monk. The days will start at 5:30am. I will be at the office by 6 and will study until 8:30. I will work until 5 and then head to the gym. Bed by 10pm. In order to keep some semblance of connection with God, I will be using my brand-new Common Prayer book from the Simple Way, for morning, afternoon and evening prayers. There is so much within my upbringing as a charismatic that is resistant to this kind of order, but I see it as my only chance for survival.
Why am I blogging about this? Certainly not to toot my own horn. Discipline is never enjoyable and I have been humbled by ambitious plans many times. No, this is public accountability. I’m like an alcoholic who wears his disease like a name tag.
I need to be a monk to survive. So pray for me if you think about it, as my body is adjusting to new hours and new rhythms. This is day 1.