My elders were kind enough to provide me with a six week break from my duties to allow me to "recharge my batteries". During this time I'll be participating in the Pastors' Retreat Network for a week, I'll also be taking a week of solitude in East Texas, as well as visiting other churches, and spending time with mentors and colleagues in the ministry.
Those of you who believe there is a God active in the universe, please pray for me during this time. Pray also for my family.
If you are not a believer in an active God, then wish me luck! Just keep me in your thoughts. I'd really appreciate it.
Some have asked: Exactly what is a sabbatical? What do you do on one? Admittedly, this is a hard question for me to answer since this is the very first one I've ever experienced! I haven't found that handy-dandy book: A Dummies Guide for Sabbaticals. A sabbatical, in my case, differs from a vacation. On a vacation you basically entertain yourself and your family (trips to theme parks, camping, sight-seeing, etc.). A vacation is merely a time of relaxation (well, it's supposed to be anyway--those of you with children, you'll understand).
Unlike a vacation, my sabbatical will be an extended period of prayer, personal reflection, and meditation. I will not be engaged in these disciplines in order to write a sermon or a lesson plan. My focus will be to listen to God through prayer, solitude, reflection, other communities of faith, and the voices of mentors and spiritually mature friends. This (hopefully) will be an exercise in "returning to the roots"--intentionally giving God my undivided attention for an extended period of time.As I prepare for this "sacred time out"--please pray that I won't pack my schedule so much I become overwhelmed and worn out. Also pray God will use this time to impact me, challenge me, and change me. While I don't want to be overwhelmed, I don't want to be underwhelmed either!
Blessings to all!