The Hard Work of Rest

I'm almost two weeks into my sabbatical--and it's been good so far. Busy, yes, but good. My trip to California went well, with renewed friendships certainly the highlight. Both pastor friends I spent time with are faithfully pursuing their calls as husbands, fathers, and shepherds. I'm grateful for their witness to Jesus, for their steadfastness, and for their bike handling skills on tight turns.

Sonoma County continues to move me. What a wonderful illustration of God's good creation and faithful human stewardship. The neat rows of vineyards coursing up and down the hills shows a divine and human partnership that is harmonious and mutually respectful.

As I delve a bit deeper into this time of rest, I'm realizing how easy it is to try to stay busy. How much we rely on our rhythms of work to bring order and predictability to our lives. And how tempting it is to gain our identity and self-worth from our routines and roles! To unplug and rest means giving up a bit of control. It necessitates waiting on God and allowing room for surprise in our lives. It's that old "Space for God" focus of a book that was popular for many of us in seminary. It's kind of a "change-up" pitch that is disrupting...and, I suspect, wonderfully so. I'm having to adjust to these new rhythms and sometimes it's work! Next week we're off to Italy. I'm studying up on it...and wondering how their cappuccinos will compare to mine...

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