“To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven… a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;” (Ecclesiastes 3)
The first week of my sabbatical has come to an end; I spent much of this first week trying to enter into sabbatical time, which has been somewhat challenging as our congregation looks towards the future. I have put an ‘away from the church’ auto-reply on my email and have only checked it a few times. I have only spoken with Nancy a couple of times.
I am deeply appreciative of this opportunity to refresh and renew my spirit. I am conscious that many people never get it. It is so easy for me to get caught up in the many, very real tasks and responsibilities of ministry, and neglect my spiritual life and personal connection with the divine. I hope to share some of my journey over the next three months with you.
I have spent a great deal of time in my flower and shrub beds and as I pulled weeds and dug holes for more shrubs, I pondered the connection between gardening and my faith life. Due to the busyness of the last few weeks at UM, (actually, the entire year has been busy!) I haven’t been able to get out to the beds to weed, so by the time I got to them the weeds had large root systems and were difficult to pull, and as often as not, I am sure I just broke the root and it will come back again.
It’s like my good intentions of starting each day with half an hour of quiet contemplation, because when I do, I am more able to experience God in my encounters both in and out of the church. I start off each day with good intentions: push the start button on the coffee maker and then pick up one of my many spirit-filled books, some deep breathing and opening myself to the presence of God. Some days that happens… sometimes my computer calls to me while the coffee is brewing and I say to myself, “I’ll just check facebook for a few minutes…” Before I know it, that half hour I meant to spend in quiet reflection and connection with God has disappeared. Just like weeds left too long in the ground, my habits are well entrenched and require constant plucking up.
What in your life needs to be plucked up in order to make room for the sacred?