I begin a four-week sabbatical today, a gracious gift from my church family for twenty years of service. I’ve never taken a sabbatical and only know a few people who have, so I’m not sure what I’m in for nor what the result will be. I know it’s supposed to be different from vacation which I have taken every year. So I have been giving some deliberate thought to this sabbatical so as to glean from it the most I can for myself, my wife, my children, and my church. Having said that, I have a few ideas of what I’m going to try to do.
- Stop. I think that’s what a sabbatical is supposed to be about — stopping what I’m currently doing. I will not be attending meetings, writing agendas, studying for sermons, preparing Bible studies, making pastoral calls, administrating church matters, planning events, or returning e-mails.
- Rest. I plan to rest my body and my mind. I am going to sleep more and try to quiet my mind. “Sometimes the most urgent thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest.” Don’t know who said it but I like it.
- Reconnect. I plan to spend lots of time with my wife, giving her the undistracted attention she deserves. I plan to spend time playing with my daughter, having lunch with my son who is home from college, and staying in close touch with my other son who is away from home on a summer internship.
- Refresh. I plan to spend time alone with God to refresh my spirit. I am planning to read for fun and for stimulating my thinking. I’ve picked out four or five books and I’ll read as much as I can without infringing on other priorities.
- Reflect. Some “self-leadership” is in order in my life and I plan to take time to reflect on where I’m at, how I’m doing, and to inspect the foundations of my life for cracks. I preached on that last Sunday and told the church this would be a priority for me while on sabbatical.
- Restart. I’m thinking about restarting some education by pursuing an advanced degree. I need to make a decision on that which means getting some more information and making a few phone calls before I do. I’m planning to restart a regular plan of diet and exercise so as to lose weight. I plan to spend some time on my bike and treadmill.
- Create. I am hoping to do something new; make something new. Like writing this blog. So I guess as of today I’m on my way to accomplishing #7.
I’ll keep you posted every now and then on how I’m doing.