#34 All 50 Days of Sabbatical Complete!
Home feels like home. After a late night because of a flight delay we slept in our own bed. I don’t exactly love my bed, but it was good to be home. Today the kids were over cooking breakfast before I got up. I did nothing for most of the day. I collected myself and enjoyed seeing everyone that came over. I didn’t even work out! Shocking! I don’t go back to work tomorrow, but I do have to prepare a little for Sunday. I am playing on the worship team and speaking.
The most important take away from my time, our time away, was renewing our minds and brains. I know it will stick because it is a physiological change. The work will come when I come face to face with the same muscle memory (so to speak). I will still have to put the new thoughts in action while doing the same things I have done for years. A part of me is wondering if I really have what it takes. I know I do, but... We all have a part of ourselves that pulls us back to the same ol’ thing because that is what we know and it is safe. Even if it is not safe it is familiar. I want nothing to do with that stuff. Familiar. Safe. I want change. That is what this whole time was most about. Change for the good. Another level up. Another measure of glory. God’s glory in me.
I started this blog over two months ago with a story about my friend who worked at Intel. They take (or took, I haven’t talked to him in years), a forced sabbatical every 6 years. It is ridiculous that we Americans think we don’t need that kind of “vacation”. Especially when you factor in that most people look forward to retirement. For pastors, I wonder how anyone can justify not taking one. Well, let me see..., I justified it for 25 years as a pastor! It isn’t easy to see how it could happen. It really is something that I want to help pastors with. Maybe they can’t take 7 weeks, but how about 3 or 4? I know all of the things you will bring up. All the reasonable reason why not to do it. How big is God? Admittedly, God wasn’t big enough for me to take one. Can I admit that and still be a man of God? I can tell you this, it was worth it. If I am honest I am in a little debt, which is not good at all. It was still worth it. I’ll skimp and pay it off. I am not going to live with regrets.
If I had to do it again I would spend more time watching sunsets from a beach house. It is what refreshes me. That part of it really was great. I would have like to be at home for a little bit of it without preparing to go somewhere else. It would have been at the end of my time. Home so often is a work place for me and I need to learn how to relax when projects need to be completed. It is a mental thing.
Perhaps it is fitting for my last blog to express my gratefulness. I am fully grateful to God for the vacation of a lifetime with my number 1 on this planet. Our love blossomed even more and that is an amazing thing for a couple who will be married 34 years in a couple of weeks. I am thankful for all the incredible places I went and the people I got to spend time with. Papa supplied for me with extravagance. God has been good and continues that goodness towards me. I am thankful for my church and my pastor who not only allowed me to go, but supported me in this endeavor. They loved me enough to do without me. I am thankful to Zoe and all the people who took on my workload and kept me out of the loop. I am thankful for Riley and Nasim who watched over the house along with Bethany. I am thankful for my family who paid for our Maui stay through their honoring of their mom and dad and that they really missed us. Returning to a people who really miss you is an incredible blessing. Lastly I am so grateful for my partner of over 36 years. Yes, married only 33 11/12, but we have been through life together for longer. She is such an incredible woman, companion, friend and lover. Every Greek word for love, whether stergae, eros, phila or agape, she has it and knows how to show it. It was such a fun trip with her. Maybe we will do it again in 7 years. Check that, we will do it again in 7 years. Just different places.