Sabbatical Start

Here I am…on sabbatical.

That’s a funny word. Make’s me feel fancy.

So what is a sabbatical? Really, its just a break from my ordinary job to find some renewal, refreshment, and refocus.

If you want to know some more of my thoughts and goals for my 4+ weeks of sabbatical, and you weren’t at River’s Edge on May 7, I share some details during my sermon there. View the video here.

But, to focus on the main point briefly, it’s my hope that the special steps I’m taking during this time will help me do my part to advance the gospel and the Kingdom of God better in the coming weeks, months and years. I’m hoping to learn—from reading, and from meeting with some gifted ministry leaders and teachers. I’m hoping that, by thinking through some new ideas and through prayer, God will impart some new wisdom and insight. And I’m hoping, through some time away and an intentional structuring of my schedule, to receive some recovery and refreshment – in all honesty, after the last few months and years, I really need it.

I appreciate that this is all coming for me right after our District Blitz conference. During that conference we used the story of King David to highlight to the students the fact that life has its highs and its lows, and God is with us in both. He is guiding us through the blessings He gives us and through the evils that are done to us.

We’ve all been through some highs and some lows recently – that’s life pretty much all of the time. Over the last few years the Covid situation just amplified all of those highs and lows through everything from the little things, like supply chain issues that kept some of us from getting things we wanted, or through big things, like health problems, interpersonal conflicts, and seeing loved ones pass away.

God is present with us through all of those situations, giving us good things and using the bad things for His ultimate good. He doesn’t expect us to do anything on our own – He simply asks us to be faithful to what He has called us to do. Sometimes that is easy. Sometimes its tricky to see what it is that He is asking from us. Either way, it’s important for us to keep our focus on the main thing – the good news of a Creator that made Himself human, lived a perfect life, and died a sacrificial death, so that we can be offered forgiveness of our sins and the promise of eternal peace and rest with Him.

So, whether you’re taking a break to recharge and refocus like I am, or you’re cruising through a pretty good time in life, or you’re struggling to survive moment by moment, day by day, remember that God is there with you, and He isn’t asking you to be a superhero, He’s asking you to be faithful and trust Him.

I think that’s why I fell in love with the new worship song we did last Sunday:

“No more fear in life or death.

I know how the story ends.”

“You’ve Already Won”, by Shane Barnard and Bryan Fowler
Performed by Shane and Shane

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