Fade to BlackPosted: March 28, 2008
As my ten-week sabbatical fades to black, I offer a few reminisces. I’m back in the office on April 1st. Please, refrain from any more “fools” jokes.
I’ve gotten a lot out of this time and I think I’ve found my true calling: getting paid not to work. Actually, it was renewing to have an extended time of Sabbath. You don’t realize how much you’re red-lining until you stop. Now I use the term “stop” loosely because when you have two kids at home it’s not a total shutdown. But it was a break from the demands of parish ministry and that was a great gift.
There were definitely some highlights. Walking through Holy Week and Easter with Bryna and the boys was amazing. It may not happen again until I retire (and by then the boys better not be living under my roof) but it was special. Being around on Sunday mornings gave me newfound respect for what Bryna has to do as single parent getting the boys to church. It was hard enough with both of us.
I did get the finishing touches done on my forthcoming book, “What Size Are God’s Shoes? Kids, Chaos, and the Spiritual Life.” I didn’t realize there was still so much back and forth with the publisher that needed to happen and it wasn’t until this week that I finally sent the manuscript off for the last time. It should be available in June at which point we’ll have a raucous release party.
I also spent a fair amount of time writing, blogging, and drinking coffee. I’m about halfway through the next book. The only thing that would have made me feel more like a “real” writer would have been if I’d taken up chain smoking. I can’t help but wonder if my writing would be more compelling if I typed with nicotine-stained fingers.
But then again this would have perhaps been incompatible with another one of my sabbatical goals: training for the Boston Marathon. This has gone pretty well, meaning I haven’t gotten injured. I’m doing one more long run of 20+ miles tomorrow and then the glorious taper begins. The hardest part of marathon training for me is getting to the starting line without injury. So far, so good. What I haven’t been very good at is raising the $2,500 I agreed to raise for global nutrition through Tufts. You can help me remedy this deficiency by clicking here. Please don’t make me resort to begging.
One regret is that I’ll never be able to grow decent facial hair. I only shaved a handful of times during the past ten weeks but it wouldn’t have mattered. I’d make a lousy Hasidic Jew.
Ultimately, the sabbatical was a good reminder that I really do love my vocation. As great as it was to be with the family on Sundays and hear other people preach, I feel like a priest out of water sitting in the pews. One more weekend without a congregation. I think I’ll pull through.