I began my time of rest and renewal (aka sabbatical) today. Quite honestly I’m anxious. This is how I felt the last time I had a sabbatical in 2011. I actually had a panic attack. There was so much to plan and prepare for before leaving on the sabbatical. It can be overwhelming. The last time I received a Lilly Grant. It was wonderful to have the support but the process was so involved that I joked I needed a sabbatical after preparing for the sabbatical.
Here I am on day one. What am I thinking about? All the unfinished business. For as much as I want to “finish” it. That is exactly why I need to hold firm and not look back. The business of ministry is never finished. There will never be a time that is ideal to step away, but it needs to happen.
Honestly, I’m tired. I was ready for a time of rest and renewal two years ago. And then COVID showed up and turned everything upside down in ways we had never imagined. Over the next three months as I’m resting and engaging in renewal activities, I also will be taking time to reimagine what it means to be the Church. For as hard as it was dealing with COVID, COVID has presented us with a rare opportunity to dream and reimagine our future. God is not done with us. There awaits a future for us. A future full of opportunities, risks and danger. It is also a future full of promise, hope and joy.