Two weeks from today I will be away. Or maybe not quite away but in the packing stages for my time away. See, in two weeks I will begin my week of Study Leave, a glorious wonderful time that is not a vacation, yet is away from the everyday-ness of work, where I spend hour upon hour reading books, talking with God and all that away from my desk, the church and the people that I lovingly refer to as "my kids", though they aren't really my kids, they are other people's kids, they are God's kids and they hang out with me at least once a week, which makes them "my kids". Have I told you that I'm going away? I think from that last rambling sentence you may see the reason why.
It's been several months since I have had any serious time off to regenerate my soul. I knew that it was close to being my time away last week when I walked into the church building and said to myself "I don't want to do this. I don't want to be here." That, my friends, is not the way a church leader likes to start off on a Sunday morning and yet there I was. It was the honest reaction from my soul. I need some space from church, from the everyday-ness of work. I need some time to spend with God, to look up and say "Hey, what's the deal?" and actually sit and wait for the answer. Not hurry onto the next thing or answer my cellphone or email or any of the other things that distract me from listening to God's answer. I need time away. (Okay, see now it's just becoming really fun to italicize "away". I am in serious need of a break.)
Making my time away even more fabulous is that I will be on a prayer retreat for 4 days followed by three days with a fabulous friend who is also in ministry and who makes me think and this is beginning to sound like the best Study Leave time ever. Ohhh, and the best part is that all of this will occur in the beautiful mountains on the shores of one of the best lakes in California and you can see why I'm really ready for my time away.
Two weeks and counting.