Monday, February 22, 2010

At Valyermo

As I ponder my up-coming sabbatical (renewal leave) this summer, I'm struck by the elusiveness of a firm plan. While I have sketched some aspects of what I want to "do," there is so much in the way of vagueness that I cannot be sure that my plans are realistic, let alone realizable. My temptation, of course, is to plan too much; which is why I need this sabbatical in the first place!

My life tends to be busy, far too busy to be healthful. I fill up my days with stuff whether or not the stuff is useful or needful. I pour out myself exhaustively for the church, for people, for "God and Country", so much so that I have little energy left to simply "be" in the presence of God. And yet it is in the "being" that I am of any help or usefulness in the "doing" of ministry/life/vocation.

I fear that the three months will go by much too quickly, which they undoubtedly will. So I want to make the most of them. I can't wait for the sabbatical to begin, and yet I fear it will be over too soon and I will be no better off.

So, at least preliminarily, here is what I want to do during my sabbatical leave, June – August, 2010.

  1. First, and foremost, rest, restore, renew, reconnect and refresh. To restore an intimate relationship with the Father/Son/Holy Spirit and to refresh my calling (vocation).
  2. (Re)establish a discipline/rhythm of prayer, study, exercise, play and work.
    1. Prayer: practice prayerful living daily (at least one hour), monthly (at least one day), quarterly (at least one weekend), annually (at least one week).
    2. Study: engage an in-depth study through reading books, listening to sermons/lectures, attending some workshops/seminars. I want to focus on one major "spiritual" topic, one minor "spiritual" topic, and one "ordinary" topic (not related to ministry directly).
    3. Exercise: practice the physical discipline of walking, playing golf (which is walking and hitting a ball) and hiking (which is walking in a beautiful location!).
    4. Play: go fishing with family and friends, play golf, attend baseball games, play board games, develop a hobby (NOT on the computer, like out in the workshop).
    5. Work: Notice this is last. Not that it is least important, but it is the thing that I have focused on way too much. So I want to develop a healthy disciplined work ethic as a pastor.
  3. I want to blog through my sabbatical, not to educate or inspire others, but to discipline myself to intentionally reflect on my journey and, thus, deepen it. If others find things to learn or be inspired, so be it! But if not, it isn't my purpose.


Further thoughts to come.


Pastor Steve Poteete-Marshall said...

When I did mine I spent some time away and some time at home. The getting away from it all to visit places was great, I would of done that more if I had to do it all over again! And if you can visit as many churches as you can on Sunday, that is a rare thing when we preach every week! Just a few thoughts feel free to ignore them!

Donna Anderson said...

Hi Glen:

I think it is a great idea to make public your aspirations and goals for sabbatical. It will make it much harder to be easily distracted or pulled away. Praying this will be a time of fruitfulness and some awesome GOD times!
Bless you!