Sabbatical Thoughts: Part 1-Rest

Over the next week, I am going to be sharing my thoughts from Sabbatical.  Today's post is on the goal of rest. 

When you are a pastor, it is hard to experience rest.  Even though you have days off, there are times when you are on call 24 hours a day. Tragedies happen and needs arise when someone needs you even on your day off.  Or it can be as simple as thinking about church, ministry, or congregation members even when you are "off" work. 

I should say that my sabbatical was a "good" sabbatical meaning that I was not asked or required to take time off.

After about a week, I realized that I needed some rest.  I was not burnt out or exhausted, but it was good to take a break.  Knowing that ministry and church was going on without me allowed my mind to rest.  It even gave me freedom to dream and ask questions.  Are we doing the most important things?  Why do we do _________?

In addition to allowing my mind to rest, my sabbatical gave me time to relax.  I slept in.  I went to the beach. I went on a lot of bike rides.  I took naps.  I read books, drank coffee, and had time to spend with family.

The final area of rest was spiritual.  Here is a passage that I kept returning to over my 3 months:
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30)
I experienced great rest for my soul over these months.  I remember being reminded that God loved me for who I am not for what I do.  I learned that God does not need me, but He does want me.  Spiritual rest allowed me to spend time with Jesus with no strings attached. 

Below are pictures that represented rest for me over the last 3 months:


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