Preparing to Unplug

Great Saturday! One of the goals of my sabbatical has been to experience, and allow my family to experience, what it’s like to live a somewhat “normal” schedule of life.

A Pastor’s schedule is quite interesting. Many think we only work one day a week (when we’re preaching). But nothing could be further from the truth.

I say that not with just myself in mind, but with all of my comrades and colleagues who are busting their behinds along with their entire congregations (like NewHeart!) to do God’s work and will! The needs are daily, and the mind and heart are always on the task at hand. There is no real “clocking in” or “clocking out”.

I am learning that to sustain life-giving ministry, a Pastor has to learn and discipline themselves to regularly unplug from the constant needs around him or her to recharge. Even then, I am also learning that it is a good thing every few years to allow for the separation from the “normal/abnormal” events and requirements of ministry to allow for a slow recharge to take place in the soul. I can feel it happening.

This morning, after getting up earlier than normal to take my son to a day-long football event he had to attend, I enjoyed the rest of the morning reading the Word, contemplating God and His creation, and allowing my soul to just soak in Him.

After my workout at the gym (I’ve been re-establishing this habit too), I spent a couple hours in the garage, sweating through the sanding and second coat of stain of a chair I’ve been refinishing. This thing is turning into a Summer-long project, but it’s good!

After a late afternoon nap and an evening hanging with my boys and their cousin, it struck me again … we/they are experiencing a normal Saturday, and it’s a good thing. Dad is around without the expectations and requirements that Sunday usually brings. It’s a good thing!

Yesterday, at the memorial service we attended, several folks asked if I was coming back. Oh, I’m coming back alright! Another part of this whole journey has been taming the anxiety (good anxiety, I think) of chomping at the bit to come back.

Now, tonight, I prepare to depart tomorrow with the love of my life for three days for her to unwind as well. Both of her jobs have somewhat continued, and she has had little opportunity to get away and unplug. (We have a gift of a week away in June Lake coming the third week of August, too!)

So, unplug we will! The computer stays home and even the phone disconnects from email once we depart tomorrow. I am really looking forward to it! See you when we get back!

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