A Two Week Break from the Alarm Clock

August 2, 2013

“John Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement, was known for his energy and activism. He traveled many miles on horseback and on foot to preach and guide the ministry. Sometimes theologians and historians lift him up as a kind of ‘energizer bunny’ who never slowed down. Yet Wesley knew the value of rest and sometimes referred to sleep as a sacrament. Take time today to rest, maybe even nap.”- The Cycle of Grace by Trevor Hudson and Jerry P. Haas

The quotation above arrived in my email box just as I was prepping a blog post about vacation. I am so grateful for moments of grace like this, and I didn’t even have writers block when I opened that email. It arrived in the form of a “Quote of the Day” that I receive from one of the chaplains serving the Council for Youth Ministry. Thank you, Fr. Rich!

vacation photo

I doubt that I have all that much in common with John Wesley, but I have been called worse things than the “Energizer Bunny.” I am taken by surprise when people accuse me of doing too much. I perpetually feel as though I am never doing enough. People worry about my travel schedule, which is admittedly taxing but manageable and necessary. This ministry is about presence and relationships. I have learned over the years that Youth Ministry takes stamina more than sheer energy. I am blessed with both. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t need down time; Sabbath is essential.

I work hard. I play hard. I pray hard. And unbeknownst to many, I can sleep like a champion. I am looking forward to sleeping on vacation.

This weekend my two week vacation begins. Although I am feeling anxious about many things that I know will be left undone before I activate the automated vacation messages, I can’t wait to be free of the alarm clock. I look forward to carrying only one phone. I hope to finish re-reading the Harry Potter story. Frequent motorcycle excursions will become part of our vacation routine. My garden will be in great shape. And my husband and I are going to tackle re-modeling an old camper trailer we’ve been neglecting for years.

Yes, usually we take a trip somewhere and often for only a week when indulging vacation. But years ago a wise Canon to the Ordinary told me that I had to take at least one stint of vacation that was at minimum two weeks long. He theorized that it takes at several days to disengage fully from work, and that it isn’t really Sabbath if you can’t get your mind completely off of work before you have to mentally prep for your return. I couldn’t agree more!

While I am away it would be lovely if some of you who are not on vacation would submit posts for this blog. Part of what makes my vacation possible is working with a team of amazing individuals who tend the shop in my absence. Wendy Johnson will keep the blog posts rolling if you would provide the subject matter.

And know that you are in my prayers in the hopes that those of you with vacation time on the horizon take full advantage of it, and that those of you returning from vacation are refreshed and revived with clarity and energy for your mission and ministry.

I am eager to be on my vacation, but I will also look forward to being back in the saddle in mid-August!



Filed under: Sabbath