I had a wonderful time while I was away. Sabbaticals have two general purposes. One is simply to rest. The other is to engage in some kind of meaningful work that the demands of parish life make difficult. My plan is to do a series of blogs on my sabbatical experiences. But in brief, I did some of both resting and working.
My rest was pretty challenging physically. I went on a pair of backpacking trips for a total of a little over 100 miles, and also a pair of paddling trips on the Connecticut River for about 115 miles. All four trips were great, in very different ways. And even if tiring, they were good for my soul. I am returning to Saint David’s refreshed. We’ll see how long it lasts!!
I also worked on a book about the Apostle Paul. I will put a complete copy of the manuscript in the narthex if anyone wants to read what I have written. My plan, after I do a bit more work on it, is to put it aside for the rest of this calendar year. I need a little distance to be able to judge it properly. After Christmas, I’ll read it through and, if I am satisfied, send it to publishers. Engaging seriously with Scripture has also been good for my soul, in a very different way than the time in God’s creation.
Now I happily sink back into my old routine. Taking a break was good. But I do best with a regular series of tasks. And I especially do best surrounded by my community of faith. As I said in my sermon for August 18, the people of Saint David’s are the cloud of witnesses who surround me and help me to run the race with perseverance, following Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. It is good to be home!