Wednesday, September 16, 2015

It's so Good to be Back

Well my 12 week sabbatical is over and I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences of my (as of Monday) 50 year life. The biggest impact has been in my relationship with God, which has been transformed by having the space to be with him in so many different settings. I pray that you'll all experience the fruit of that in the coming weeks, months and years. I also feel I've got a much clearer sense of what God has for us as a community, and the part that I can play in making that happen.

Pete Scazzero writes in his books on being emotionally healthy about the four different elements of the stops which need to form the rhythm of our walk with God, whether those stops are at the end of the day, sabbath, a holiday or a sabbatical. Those elements are:

  • Stop - stop doing whatever represents work for you and trust God that he is more than capable of keeping the world spinning, the church growing or your company doing well without you
  • Rest - Make time to refresh physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally
  • Delight - don't be afraid to do things you enjoy doing, and to delight in the world God has put us in
  • Contemplate - make space to connect with God and to reflect on his goodness, faithfulness and love
My sabbatical was rich in all of those things - things which I hope I can help all of us find as we seek to build an emotionally healthy community.

Lots of people have asked what I actually did for the 12 weeks, so I thought in a handful of blogs over the next few weeks I'd talk about some of the things I got up to and the impact they had on me. Hopefully we can all learn from those.

All that said it's great to be back. I was in the office yesterday and it was so good to reconnect with so many friends. If there was one downside to being on sabbatical it was being away from my own family for quite a bit of the time, and from my wider church family for pretty much all of it. Church is family, and I can't wait for Sunday to be able to reconnect with everyone again.

Hope to see you Sunday :)

Simon.

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