Take A Break Dummy

I tried my best to manage my burn out, to keep on keeping on and somehow remain sane but the more I tried to manage it the more I grew weary. So whether it was a good idea or not, whether I liked it or not - I just needed to stop. Maybe a break was actually a good idea, since God invented this thing called "Sabbath." I really didn't know. All I knew was that I was in desperate need of renewal. I needed to somehow not just slow down a little bit (manage my burn out), but outright stop all activity. I needed to catch up on my sleep, play for the sake of playing, and live again without being solely defined by my role. I really needed a lot of time to just be without the necessity of much doing, with a lot of room to just be with God. I wish I could say that once the next steps for my renewal became clear it was easy to begin a time of Sabbath. In truth being burnt out wasn’t easy, beginning the process of renewal wasn’t easy, and walking through the process wasn’t easy. None of it was easy, but all of it was good.Simply entering into the necessary time of Sabbath was a lesson in surrendering control. I felt exposed and vulnerable admitting to my wife, who was used to a confident and vibrant husband, that I needed to take a break that would put as at financial risk. I felt vulnerable admitting to my Elder board that I was not okay and needed to take a break – a long break – and I couldn’t (wouldn’t) make any promises I would return. I knew about churches that had instantly parted company with pastors who’d admitted the things I was admitting. I felt naked when I told the church body I was completely fried, I would be taking a long break, and I didn’t know if I would return. I felt invaded when I discovered a video that our church board had posted to help explain my need for renewal to our members got into the hands of a local church who used it in a staff meeting as an example of “the right way to use technology to communicate with a church body.” I was glad we were an example of the “right way” to do something, but not very thrilled that my private struggle was being broadcast so publicly.  It was uncomfortable hearing about the rumors that "something's wrong with him." I felt sad admitting to my children that I was not okay. All of these beginning steps revealed my utter lack of control, which is a difficult realization for a control freak.The many posts to come are my attempt at some kind of explanation of what I discovered when I accepted God’s invitation to Sabbath. Many of my discoveries were, and still are, hard to swallow and yet all of them were, and still are, filled with promise.