Remember Paul Simon’s free and easy tune Feelin’ Groovy? (Also known as The 59thStreet Bridge Song, I just discovered) Slow down, you move too fast. You got to make the morning last…and so on, lazily kicking cobble stones, talking to a lamppost, watching flowers grow. I have been invoking the opening line as an admonition to myself lately, invoking it in surprise, as I had expected the Jubilee life to move more slowly and be less busy. Nope, and now I’m wondering why I ever thought it would be. Because of the pastoral setting, perhaps, and the daily times for reflection and worship (which are helpful, but still), and the simpler life style minimizing errands and appointments. At any rate, I was wrong!
One reason for my misconception is obvious. This is important work here, and there is great seriousness about doing it, in the spirit of “God’s work, our hands.”* Our 40-hour work week is the beginning point. After hours—after the teaching and driving, cooking and cleaning, planting and harvesting—we have fun getting to know the refugee families better and gather for Bible study or work on projects.
Another reason for this busyness has bushwhacked me. Somehow, I didn’t expect it, even though it is common to any setting: opportunities. Relevant events—movies and lectures— often associated with the University of Georgia in Athens. Jubilee friends and visitors telling about their adventures. Card games. Adorable children to play with. Scintillating conversations.
Encompassed in the opportunities is the people factor. Always, people around, who, for this extrovert, present wonderful times of connection and enjoyment, and sometimes they need a little help, or give it. And encompassed in the people factor are family and friends at a distance, and that communication takes time, too.
We are not like the groovy guy in the song. He’s got no deeds to do, mo promises to keep. No, it is not like that here at all. Therefore, just like always, management is required. Set priorities, make choices. Doing so has never been my forté. I want it all. Nevertheless, even though busier than I wish, my soul sings along with the closing of the song, slightly altered: Life, I love you. All is holy.