(This post was written by my wife Debbie.)
Have you ever wondered what a lawn looks like after the sprinkler has been running for 3 hours? Well, here at the Ashley household, we now know. Fortunately it was late and dark as we gingerly stepped through the back yard to assess the situation, so it didn’t look too bad. Puddles dotted the back yard and the garden, with possibly a few washouts of newly planted seeds that can be replanted. A good hot sunny day will dry it all out.
Now you may be wondering who forgot to turn off the sprinkler. Well, that is not the point of this article so we will just leave that for you to wonder. However, this does lead to another question I posed to Mark as we sloshed our way back into the house. (No, I did not ask him how much the water bill will be next quarter, though that thought crossed my mind.) Removing our wet shoes, I speculated on the following consideration related to our current sabbatical : Either our minds have become too relaxed, or our minds are not yet relaxed enough. Which one is it? (For those of you who are extremely practical-yes, I realize it could be just plain old forgetfulness, but favor me with your time to pursue this a bit further..)
Not having been on a sabbatical before, we are experiencing some things for the first time. So, how do we know when we have relaxed? Do we think more clearly, do we think about different things, or do we just not think? Based on our experience of last night, one would think the last option.
However, a different thought is beginning to solidify itself in our minds, and it is this: A
sabbatical is not so much time to think or time not to think as much as it is time to figure out what God is thinking. It is a concentrated, slower, undistracted time to meditate on God’s thoughts, to pray about God’s thoughts, and to formulate a plan of action to
carry out God’s thoughts. The opportunity to do this has been abundantly rewarding and absolutely refreshing to us. For this we are grateful and look forward to the remaining 10 days of our sabbatical, eventually with a dry lawn!