“In those days he (Jesus) went out to the
mountain to pray; and all night he continued
in prayer to God.” (Luke 6:12)
I’ve never prayed all night on a mountain. I’ve prayed for many hours when I needed guidance or help, but usually there are times during that time of prayer when I simply sit and wait. And that’s prayer as well. I tell you that because sometimes we need to be away and just sit and pray.
The first month of my Sabbatical was a time for study and reading and seeking new ideas for preaching and worship. The time away at the Festival of Homiletics was challenging and exciting. The weeks here after I returned were fun as I read some of the books that had been piling up and shared in worship in a number of other churches and listened to more preaching. It was a good month.
The next month of my Sabbatical will be a time for relaxation and sharing with my family. I’m sure I’ll read some more and I’ll probably color and meditate some more. But it will not be as focused on study and replenishment. It will instead be a time of restoration.
I noticed during the first month that after I returned from Atlanta I needed almost another whole week before I really relaxed. I imagine that will be true in the month of August as well. (Although taking the train will help me relax a bit, too.)
I am beginning to understand the real need for Sabbatical time. And although I do not know exactly what the shape of my final month will be in 2017, I will look forward to that time to wait and pray. I hope that you will find time this summer to rest in God’s grace and just sit and pray. It’s good for our souls.