(For my fellow Friends fanatics, I just couldn’t pass up that title.)
But in all seriousness, I am on a break of sorts. I often talk and write about the importance of the process, and sometimes the greatness of the process involves some pitstops along the way.
I’ve been serving as one of the worship pastors at my church for some two and a half years, now, but I’ve been involved in some type of ministry for a little over ten years. The way things work at our church is that every pastor has a guaranteed two weeks off every year, responsibility free.
This idea of a sabbatical is something that we hold dear as a church. With as much as pastors constantly pour out, it’s important for them to have the opportunity to be able to take a rest, too.
I’ll be completely honest and say that when the sabbatical idea was first implemented, I wasn’t all sure I needed it. In my optimism (and arrogance), I went a whole year without taking a real break.
A year and a half later, I found myself in a place of fatigue. I found myself in a place of loving Jesus with all of my heart, but not finding so much joy in the community that I am usually so incredibly passionate about. This hurt my heart so much. I love community, and I love being a part of an incredible body of believers that love with such a fervor.
My church is an amazing, unique group of people. We all come from such various backgrounds, but we all seem to have one specific thing in common: we’re sometimes the black sheep of our families. Often, we find not only community, but family in each other. We’ve spent many Thanksgivings, Christmases, and New Years together throughout the years. We’ve celebrated birthdays and graduations together, too. The thing about family, though, is that sometimes family is messy.
Let’s be real. I love my church and cannot possibly imagine another place where I would want to be, but I started having these very real feelings of just being flat out exhausted. I sat down with my pastor who also happens to be my amazing dad.
“Dad. I love Jesus so much. That’ll never change, but I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I’m doing church right now on fumes.”
I cried, of course. I’m a crybaby; I always cry and everyone knows that. It was one of the more honest conversations with my dad that we’ve had. Snot, tears, and curse words were spilled from my heart that night.
“Son, you need a break. No questions asked. Take a month and find yourself again.”
Relief. I love my dad. One of the things about my dad that I love so much is that he understands me. We sometimes will take personality tests for the fun of it, and we consistently score complete opposites of each other. I’m right-brained and creative. Dad’s left-brained and analytical.
I’m not an easy person to understand. Most creatives and ENFPs aren’t easy to understand. For someone like my dad to not only have to work with me at church but live with me, I cannot imagine how frustrating I can be at times for him. Where he’s sure about most things and always has a definitive answer to most problems, I see things in many shades of grey with multiple solutions and perspectives.
I’ve been on break for a week now, and it’s hard and amazing at the same time. I know that Jesus is best revealed in community, when you’re surrounded by like-minded people who, like everyone else, was created in His image. But break has also been good because I’ve had the chance to sit back and think about my heart.
I’ve checked my heart over the last week. I’ve searched through its infinite caverns and haven’t necessarily liked what I’ve found. I’ve searched through the maze, though, and have discovered that its foundations are much more established than I’ve allowed myself to feel.
Some people have asked questions. People always do. My intention for this post is clear up any doubts before rumors starts.
Here’s to three more weeks of rest.