For the first time in my ministry life, I was granted a sabbatical leave, a time to be refreshed and renewed, and I cannot say enough about how beneficial it was for me and my family to have this time. We are very thankful for it and now feel ready to get back in the saddle.
We took this time for some needed rest, enjoy lots of family time, and re-think our ministry life. It was definitely a time of evaluation but also an opportunity to do one of the things He does best: to mold, reshape, and refine!
Pastor Chris Philbeck cares a big deal for his staff, and before I left he gave me two book to read during my time away. One was Smart Money, Smart Kids, by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruz. This is a great book with incredible instructions and directions that are helping us re-think how we raise our kids to win with money. The second book was Soul Keeping, by John Ortberg. This book was a fantastic way to start many of my mornings and also led my mind and heart to open to many things that I needed to hear related to my spiritual walk, as well as my ministry life.
As I started reading Ortberg’s book, a few lines caught my attention: “Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” This is the absolute truth for many of us (I know it is for me). But as I read this line, one thought came to mind: “How is it even possible to eliminate hurry from our lives today?”
It does not take much thinking to realize that in life, we really do most of our activities in a hurry. Worse yet, we journey through our spiritual life in a hurry and end up missing tons of good things that God is doing around us and for us.
Once you recognize that this is actually happening in your life, you have to take action to change, and change is something we don’t always like to do or talk about.
We often are mistaken by the impression that from time to time, our life seems to be on cruise-control and everything is working great. There is a good chance that your busy schedule and the hurry-to-get-things-done attitude does not allow you see that God may be moving in a different direction. You will miss a great opportunity to experience the presence of God in your life in an amazing way, all because you did not stop to listen to His voice. You were in a hurry.
So I realized that a few things had to change, changes that would start inward, where they really take place, and have a lot more to do with my personal relationship with God.
I am thankful my church cares for its pastors enough to allow them a time to renew and refresh, and I won’t take for granted the opportunity I had to experience a time such as this. Now, it’s time to get back to work.