arrested development & growing up – a personal reflection on being & becoming

integrationIn my newfound, barely three-month old state of retirement’s liberty from the all-consuming labor of active ministry, I have begun to take (find?) the time and give the energy to face an inner struggle between Paul the person and Paul the priest. Long have I experienced these two facets of my ontological self-understanding as distinct; at times, as close as “kissin’ cousins” and, at other times, nearly polar entities. In the latter state of association (or disassociation), usually I allowed the priestly image (i.e., the outward projection of what I believed a priest should be and do) to overwhelm, consume my identity as a person. Great confusion would erupt when the natural drives and desires of my will as a person came to the surface, beckoning, demanding access to the persona, that channel of the expression of myself (my self) to the world.

Now, in the vigor of retirement, I believe that I see finally, and with the confidence of consistency, how to reconcile these two parts of me; welcoming my “person” home from the land of aimless wanderment, at times, estrangement that exists somewhere in the recesses of my unconscious.

I, Paul, am a person with all the history and memory, thoughts and feelings, wants and needs, intentions and actions, words and deeds appertaining to my humanness, thus, akin to and distinct from all persons in that these appurtenances are of the hue and texture of my individual mental and emotional, physical and spiritual fabric and makeup. I also am a priest who was first and always created by God to be this particular person.

If I am to be whole or as I, by the grace of God’s Spirit-guidance, will to be and become (and remain) whole, then the priest is to be expressed through this, my person and not the other way ‘round.

2 thoughts on “arrested development & growing up – a personal reflection on being & becoming

  1. Paul, we’ll let me be the first to say “AMEN”!!! There’s so much more to Paul than the Priest in you! Thrilled that you now have the time and the energy to get to know Paul better. Now you can just be YOU, as opposed to being Priest Paul on the Hill even when it wasn’t a Sunday!

    Ironically on the flight back tonight, I was looking at some of the retired life “course work” planning we did way back in 2011. I have no idea why I was looking at it as I went through my files. It reminded me that I had shared with you that I was excited about who and what “retired Paul” would be. You were skeptical of how you’d transfer your skills to anything else, BUT I knew that once you discovered who and what Paul could be, you’d be awesome! You’re on that path now!! It will be cool having Real Paul 90% of the time, and Priest Paul only when called upon. Life is good!! And for you, I believe it will only get better!! Congrats my dear friend! Now, Enjoy!!


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