A friend wrote this morning asking about my sabbatical.  He was really interested in “what are you doing with it?”  If I understand his question I think he’s asking more than polite information.  He’s a learner who learns best from asking other people questions then processing the information for his own gain.  In short, he’s doing research.  I think he’s really saying –“what did you do with your sabbatical, because if and when I get a sabbatical, I’d like to know what I could possibly do with it”. 

For me, and foremostly,  there is an attitudinal component to all I have experienced over the last 60 days.  I feel this sabbatical is a precious gift.  The organization has given me a gift of time and inherent in that gift of time is the freedom to do what I choose to do without the compulsion to pay attention to organizational priorities, or situational agendas.  I get to choose each day what I will engage my life into.  It’s freedom.

As I began this season, I had a few key areas to pay attention to.  They have basically boiled down to three.  Firstly, I have had the freedom to renew my body physically.  I know I should do it regularly and it’s an important priority.  But this time has been a splendid occasion to get physical exercise on a daily basis.  So, at 10 am, or at 2:30, or whenever I choose to– I allow myself the joy of endorphins that come from the rush of physical exercise.   Secondly, I have had the freedom to recharge my relationship with my spouse.  She’s commented on it regularly how much she enjoys having me “home” and when I am home–my mind isn’t distracted or distressed.  I have the freedom to focus on her without competition from something else.  She’s already begun to lament the days ahead when I return to my regular routine (is there a subtle message there?).  And thirdly, I have had the freedom to read and ponder.  I have chosen to read theological, biographical, inspirational books.  I have shied away from methodological “how to” books because I need my batteries recharged not just jolted.  I don’t need  a “jump start”, I need a slow trickle charge.  It’s been good to hear of others journeys  through life…all of life.

My friend asked in his final note–“are you ready to return to regular duties soon”?  Good question.