Soon, I will have a good long break. I will read books from my growing stack, travel a bit, and sleep. Many folks have been referring to my time off as a Sabbatical, a paid leave granted to a university teacher or other worker for study or travel, traditionally one year for every seven years worked or six months after five years. However, I am just taking four consecutive weeks plus four days. So, it’s not a sabbatical. It is not even close to a sabbatical, but it is a good long break. Still, I do consider my time away a practice of sabbath or holy rest.
In Divine wisdom, God determined that humanity needs rest, so the Lord authored that rest into the conception of the world. The famous “seventh day” and thus was born the idea of holy rest. God knew that we needed time to stop our business and that it is toxic for ourselves, our relationships with each other, and God to labor constantly, despite what society has developed into. Many of us, in this contemporary setting, do not like to “rest,” to disconnect from social media, to slow down, take walks, or truly vacation or to spend time thinking about other things. There may be a fear in that. Fear that we will be alone with our inadequacies or that we might discover something within or without ourselves that needs change, but with God, in perfect love, there should be no fear. So, let’s rest brothers and sisters! You need it, and I know I do, too.
Therefore, beginning September 21st after I leave the office that day, I will return to the office on October 23rd. I will not be available by text or phone or email. Things will pop up during this time but there is a plan in place to deal with any contingencies. This is not because I do not love you, rather I am doing this because I love you. Like Jesus would remove himself, I too must take at least a little time, to fill my cup back up. Besides, how can you miss me if I won’t go away? In the meantime, I ask you to remember me in prayer as I will remember you and I invite you to ponder with me, Jesus’ words from Matthew’s Gospel, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”