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What is the gift of sabbatical? It’s not rest though rest can be a big part of it. It’s “time”. In a sabbatical season you are unhooked from the daily, weekly, monthly expectations of your day job. You are never totally unhooked but you do have freedom to not pursue the regular rhythms of daily living. You are given a gift of “time”. Suddenly hours even days are available in a way in which even a week previously they were scarce commodities.

So, what does this bring you? It brings you choices again. You have a choice about where to spend your time. I know we always have choices but I suggest to you that often our choices are limited. Whether it’s the boss, the situation, the urgent event coming up, the clanging event from yesterday–for many of us, we have little freedom in our workspace to pursue what we wish. But on sabbatical, you have freedom to pursue what you want. What YOU want.

For me, it’s been reading, resting, relationships, and running–in that order. I am reading my Bible as a book. I am resting–this afternoon I took a nap. Can you believe that? Not because I was tired, but because I could. I am spending time with my wife letting her decide what she would like for us to do and then doing it rather than negotiating it nor shortchanging it. Earlier today we went to the fabric store. Hardly earth shattering (what am I doing in a fabric store?) but her sincere “thanks honey” afterwards were musical and therapeutic. First thing this morning I put my New Balance runners on and clipped a couple of km’s around the neighbourhood getting my heart beat up for an appropriate season. The shower felt good afterwards. I had time for all this. Though I thank God for the events, I really thank God for the time.

If your experience of sabbath is but for a day a week, how do you experience the freedom of time to pursue your personal desires?