Thursday, May 04, 2006


I have vacation time coming up.

While most other pastors jet out mere moments after shaking the last parishioner's hand on Easter, I elected to stick around a few extra weeks.

Last year, my first year at the church, I had two weeks allotted for vacation time. I rationed them carefully, aware of particular ways that I wanted to spend the majority of it. When October rolled around, I happily discovered a few leftover days and used them to attend a friend's wedding.

This year (and all subsequent years) I have four weeks, which compared to last year seems like an overabundance. This month I'll be spending my second week of it hanging out with fellow Eden alumni. There's an Ultimate Frisbee game that I'll try to make, followed by some organized discussion surrounding the ups and downs of ministry. This year we're focusing on the theme of how church and culture connect and collide. That should be worthwhile, but I'm mainly looking forward to 1) getting out of here for a while and 2) being with good friends whom I haven't seen since the afforementioned wedding. May is the month for such reunions, apparently. When all that is over, I'll spend a day or two in Cincinnati where my father-in-law continues to struggle with illness. This will be my first opportunity to see the in-laws since before all this started.

So until then, I'm moving into a mental space where I'm fully aware that time off is approaching, and thus am becoming more irritated that it isn't here yet. You know that space...where you begin to shut down, check out, become more antsy. You start going on vacation early, but you have to keep one foot (preferably both) in what you still need to do before then. It's not that great of a feeling, really. Getting on the road becomes the number one priority despite the call to preach twice more, the meetings and Bible studies and visits that still need to happen. 'Get me out of here' is our prayer to ourselves. 'Help me hang on' is our prayer to God, Whose call we accepted in the first place.

So I'm counting down, trying to pray the latter prayer, trying to stave off the former. There's still work to be done.

But most of it isn't really that it?