#4 The Send Off
My church gave us a great send off today. I didn’t expect it. I am concerned that people will not understand why anyone would get as much time off as I am getting. After all, Americans don’t get more than 3 or 4 weeks a year. I almost feel a little guilty. It’s real.
The strain and the stress of ministry is something that very few will understand. Ministry is not the only stressful vocation, but it does rank among the most stressful. It’s been a long run for Lora and I. Honestly, it has taken it’s toll on the family, Lora and myself. The time demands are high and so is the responsibility. If I was doing it right all the time, it may still have a high demand, but it would have been much more manageable than it has been. I am a work horse that tends to take too much on. Jesus should have shouldered more of the burden. He did, but I shouldered too much. Hence the strain.
My family has weathered it and my nearly bulletproof wife is good. But I regret that I didn’t do it better. That regret doesn’t nag at me, but it does surface from time to time. The strain has taken it’s toll on me. Hence the need for a sabbatical. So today started the last week of work before the sabbatical officially starts. An adventure to Nashville with my wife and two kids. I thank Pastor Brian’s generosity for being able to bring them to convention. Brian and I agree that our children have to suffer a bit with a dad for a pastor and should benefit at times as well. Every one of my kids has gone with me to conference or convention except my eldest. It isn’t a vacation, but it is an adventure and we always squeeze in some fun.
So to the great church that allowed me to go, to the council and to my pastor, a great thank you and thanks for loving me.