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I received some advice last week, ‘just don’t become cynical’.

It felt like an insult, like I was already a cynic. Of course the reason it felt like that was because, well… because it’s true. I have become a bit cynical.

Perhaps I always was and just hid it better …

Perhaps now I’m a bit wiser …

Perhaps now I just see more trees and less wood…

I have chosen not to share the discomfort of the past few weeks because I am not sure I have worked out the real reason behind it. I have some initial thoughts and I can find wonderful ego stroking reasons for feeling like a victim, but that would be dishonest and self-deceptive…

But a part of me has found the relentless grind of ‘working it all out’ and processing my negativity into positivity extremely exhausting. I have found myself avoiding all kinds of negative talk, be it helpful and constructive, or not. (Who’s your number 7?)

And of course, the negativity found an outlet in cynicism and life exhaustion.  I retreated faster than a fastly retreating thing. I ran into my emotional cave and sat and peered out at the world, thinking it’s all for nothing, we’re fighting a losing battle for transformation in the world, in the church and in life…

And yet in all those moments of darkness and doubt there were always little snippets of light and grace. I read a wonderful quote by Sarah Britten about ‘darkness, shadows, giving substance to light’ and I know that through the doubt I ask deep questions, I dig deeper for resources, I look and I watch and I try open my eyes because I can never stay too long in the shadows, my faith just does not allow for that.

So I am standing on the threshold of my cave, again. I am shielding my eyes to the rising sun, again. I am taking a deep breath, again. It’s time to step back out into the world and to listen and to open my eyes and arms to embrace the reality of a new term, a new semester, a new season.

I am not going to become a cynic, I am going to be a realist.

I am going to pray my way back to health and wonder.

I am going to let God do all the other hard transforming things …

The hard transforming beautiful things, and I am going to see how, if at all, I can assist in that work.

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