Vacation Reflections

For the past two summers, we have taken an elongated trip to see my family in July.  It is has been something that I have begun to look forward to on many levels.  I am thankful to serve a congregation that gives me this kind of opportunity and is capable of carrying on without me.  I know that is not “job security”, but shouldn’t it be our goal to have others use their talents?  I believe so.  Each year I have come back refreshed and ready for the year ahead.  I also have come back with new perspectives on my personal life as well as doing ministry.  It is these that I wanted to share more for me than anything else.

1)  My children are amazing.  16 hours in a car each way and they did not complain or ask “how much farther”.  While we were away, they slipped right into the flow of things and helped out as well as had a great time.  I am thankful for their lives and their witness in my life.  They are growing into independent young people.

2)  I need downtime.  As much I think that I can go forever, it does make a difference to get away and decompress.  While I am not a person who needs a “regular” day off, there does reach a time that it is for the best.  My writing and studying have been more alive this past week as well as my enjoyment of being with others.  I am not naive to believe that I work harder or longer than those I serve.  In fact, not only do most of you work and have family responsibilities, but you also give of yourself to the church.  We all need some time to decompress and get renewed.  I was just reminded of this in vivid detail.

3)  God’s Word is important.  I know, you are saying, haven’t you figured that out by now?  Didn’t seminary give you a hint?  What I mean is that I have a renewed commitment to God’s Word and particularly preaching and teaching it.  I will continue to look for every opportunity to do so.  I have an excitement toward speaking greater than I have ever experienced.

4)  God’s people are vital.  I have been called and ordained to serve God’s people.  They ARE the answer to the world’s questions and problems.  While preaching and teaching are wonderful tools for “corporate” (meaning a group) settings, I think it is also important for me to become better at the one-on-one moments.

These are just a few things on my mind.  Might be more later, but I wanted to at least capture these for my own review over the next few weeks and months.