Pastor Kate's Blog - Reflection of "See No Stranger" - Chapter Eight

As I consider Kaur’s chapter “Push”, I realized I am happy to push myself but not so happy if I feel like I might need to push others. The reader’s guide says:

The practice of pushing is one of discernment. Cultivate your inner wisdom to be able to answer the cyclical questions: Is now a time for me to rest and breathe? Is now a time to push, for myself and others? Who is supporting me in this labor? Who am I providing support to?

Over the years I have gotten more comfortable with pushing although I still don’t like it. When I was preparing to work in ministry, I was so averse to conflict that I was told I shouldn’t work in a local church. I’ve had to work on changing my narrative around conflict and now I am much more able to tolerate it – even to see it for some of the gifts that it offers. I’m learning to embrace that the goal of life is not to avoid conflict – rather conflict is part of the process of birthing some new into being.

I have asked myself the questions posed by the reader guide in the cycle of my leadership at church – is now a time for rest and breathing or a time to push? The church is in a time of great transition. Add a pandemic on top of that and the world we exist in can almost feel unbearable. While it might have felt a lot like pushing during the pandemic, my goal as a leader was to try to help us to breath. To rest and gain strength as much as possible. But as the pandemic remains, I sense that we will once again enter in a cycle of pushing, trying to find our way forward in a new reality.

I wonder how we can support one another and our organization in this work. What practices can help us? Where do we sense a call to push? How do we care for the anxiety that pushing may cause in the system, recognizing that the pushing is a necessary part of the process of continuing to be born anew?

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