Day 1 Sabbatical 2017

So the moment has arrived. Sabbatical 2017 begins. Thank you Lilly Endowment for National Clergy Sabbatical Grants, I am funded for a three month sabbatical from active parish ministry. What a gift!

The grant I wrote will take me from Colorado to Assisi Italy to The Grand Canyon to New Mexico and finally my hometown Kansas City.

The word of the day is RELEASE

Sunday afternoon ended up being an excellent example of how God has a sense of humor in God’s work in me.

After church in my office, I am literally working on the final task, changing the messaging on the phone system. I wanted to include Father Alonzo the supply priest’s contact information and my out of office response. This task should take minutes.

I pick up the phone dial into the system and what do I hear? It is the after hours message for a doctor’s office. Yes, that is right, our church phone system somehow got crosswise with a doctor’s office. This took me several tries to even believe. Hungry, tired, overwrought my mind just could not understand what was going on. Finally I relented. There was nothing I could do on a Sunday to figure this out. I walked home feeling defeated by the list.

Waiting at the front door my husband Chad greeted me with a huge smile, “Well, your done?! Sabbatical begins!”

I tried to smile and share his jovial spirit, instead I frowned and recounted the whole odd story. Thankfully, I failed to drag him down with me and he replied, “Email your team, move on and let it go”. He went on, “It’s funny. Like God is asking you, ‘Lisa, can you really let go?”

So this morning, on day 1 I began aware that there is no finishing our work. I have seen this truth even as people die. They keep planning, advising, teaching, loveing until their final breath.

The best we can do is release our tight grip on the future. Let go of our need to feel we have accomplished it all. Trust that we are enough even if we are incomplete and unable to fix what goes wrong.

So I begin a long Sabbath time. Thankful for tasks beyond our ability. And learning to release my need to feel perfect.

On the journey.



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