There are about seven weeks before I begin my sabbatical. I find it difficult trying to wrap my mind around what it means to be disconnected, to have time, to be able to enter into a space not filled with responsibilities, plans, and activities.
The trip to Scotland ended up being more difficult, but also easier than I thought. Once we decided the areas we wanted to stay in, booking places to stay wasn’t a problem. Traveling from one place to another, however, ended up being more challenging than I thought.
While I assumed I would only need to figure out if we were taking a train, bus, or ferry, what I discovered was bus, train, and ferry schedules don’t always coincide. There’s a possibility that the bus arrives at the train station, but you have to wait five hours for the train to show up. Making matters more challenging was bus operated by different companies.
After talking to someone who lives in Scotland, I believe we’ve figured out a travel schedule that won’t leave us waiting at the train or bus station for multiple hours.
After we get back from Scotland, I will be heading out west for some stargazing and hiking with a friend. From there, I have various trips that will help me slow down and dig deep into the spiritual life.
I keep trying to imagine what it will be like to be on sabbatical, but I’ve realized I’m not going to be able to. This time away will be foreign to me. I haven’t taken more than a week or so off my entire working life.
I view this time as a gift. A gift that not very many people ever receive. My prayer is that I will make sure to take the time needed to deepen my relationship with God, so that I can help others.
There’s nothing worse than a pastor going through the motions, relying on past experiences of God’s presence. Because of this sabbatical, I won’t have to go through the motions.