I am gratefully on a three month sabbatical.
Now that’s a word, “sabbatical,”
(and a concept, for that matter)
more associated these days
with the academic world than any other.

Professors earn sabbaticals
in which to study and research, travel and write.

So, associated with the academic world,
but with roots that reach back into the spiritual–
roots that go back to the word “sabbath” and the concept of sabbath–
time intentionally set aside
from the routine of the other days–
a day set aside for for meaningful rest–
a specific time
like that seventh day on which God rested.

And, interestingly, it’s typically after seven years
that a sabbatical is earned.
Do all those professors know to be grateful to God?!
And do their administrations know
sabbaticals were not originally intended for study and research–
for writing that “whatever” to publish.

In the church,
the idea of a sabbatical is less
a time in which to get something accomplished–
to produce anything–
as time to find–to try and find–
that meaningful kind of rest.

When I was applying for a Lilly Grant,
I was specifically told,
“Now you can build in continuing education if you want,
but what they really want to see
is how you’re going to have fun.”

Now there’s a good combination–
meaningful rest
and fun–

something best incorporated into every good week,

and I’ve got three months to figure it out ….


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