The leaders at TrueNorth Church were incredibly gracious to me this year. Since this is my 30th year in the ministry, they allowed me to have a 30 day sabbatical. Therefore, I’ve been on vacation since June 6 and I will be back in the TNC offices on Tuesday, July 5.
So, what do you do with 30 days off? And what is a sabbatical anyway? I’ll answer the second question first.
According to dictionary.com, a sabbatical is simply a period of rest. A longer definition is “an extended period of leave from one’s customary work, especially for rest, to acquire new skills or training.”
I’m going to go ahead and straight up confess that I haven’t acquired any new skills this month.
But I am trying to resurrect some old skills - like writing again. As you can see, this is my old blog. I’m thinking about knocking the dust off of this thing and putting a few words of wit and wisdom here every so often. I left this blog several years ago for a new look and a new website. (Does anyone remember Quest for a New Perspective?) I was trying to look more professional in order to sell more books.
It didn’t work.
The problem was I spent more time working on the logistics of the website and trying to promote and market it than I did writing. Ultimately, I got tired and quit.
Yes, I’m a quitter.
But sometimes quitting isn’t all bad. When your hobby becomes a burden, why spend your time on it?
So, what’s the answer to the first question? What do you do with 30 days off?
Travel. Read. Experience new places. Try different food. Laugh until snot comes out of your nose. Enjoy the sun. Marvel at God’s creation. Have fun with family.
We spent the first week at our usual place at Hilton Head Island with family. Our group has gotten so big now we have to rent two condos. We rode out Tropical Storm Colin on Monday of that week but otherwise we enjoyed great weather.
On our second week of vacation, Beth and I rented a wonderful, secluded lake house. It was just me, Beth, and Shucks (our miniature dachshund). We had some nice down time there. And, again, the weather was perfect.
Last week, we flew to sunny Southern California and we checked our bucket list with a trip to the San Diego Zoo. We also went whale and dolphin watching about 4 miles off the coast. (I took the picture of a humpback whale above.) The Pacific Coast has some incredible beaches. So different than what we’re familiar with in the Southeast. It’s easy to see why so many millions of people want to live there. The weather is near perfect every day of the year. The only big negative: traffic.
Since we’ve been back in town this week, I’ve been holed up on the 2nd floor of the Reese Library at Augusta University. I love quiet times in a library to read, reflect, and research. I especially love college campuses so this has been a treat for a few days.
I know. What a nerd!
I’ve been praying, pondering, and planning. If you know me well, you’ve heard me say that I’m living the dream. TrueNorth Church is literally an answer to prayer for me and a dream come true. I’ve dreamed of this church since 1987 - 29 years ago - my second year in ministry!
Now, I find myself asking what to do now that my dream has come true.
I will continue to help do my part in growing this generation of believers as well as the next generation. I will continue serving as a pastor, prayer partner, and friend to as many as possible. I will continue to help the leadership of TNC “follow the breadcrumbs” as our Lead Pastor Steve Davis says. I will continue my quest toward being a humble, obedient, submissive servant.
In the meantime, I’m also going to seek out new quests. I’ll keep you posted (maybe) as I experience them.