One of the challenges of the last week has been to keep my mind on the present and not to start living for the return to Birmingham. It certainly isn’t because of a lack of things to keep me busy. In fact, a challenge is to take enough time to relax and not to use the idea of completing the experiment as a spur to just keep going. I can’t hold on that long. It is easiest to live in the future when faced with things I find difficult, as an escape from facing them or being open to unknown challenges or blessings. It has already been a very rich experience and there is a certain desire in me to leave it at that.
I found it interesting to notice that when I had three weeks of the Spiritual Exercises left last year I had just begun. Now the same time relative to the whole experiment seems quite short and nearing completion. Also various people have been saying that the rest of the novitiate will be gone before I know it. They might be right, but I still have a quarter of it to do – there is still a lot to experience.
A couple of times in the last week I have been surprised by a conversation that has been refreshing or somehow been a blessing. The week has brought joy and pain, excitement and monotony – I hope that I can remain open to what the remainder of the time brings.