retreat (without running away)

this is a  “retreat week” for me.  I find it to be very ironic, that the more I intentionalize “retreating” from the regular demands of church work, the more my heart is engaged.  Hmm. 

What I mean is this – tomorrow I leave for a retreat in the Poconos with pastors.  To make it a retreat week, I am “pulpit swapping” with our mother church pastor so that he and I can both “retreat” from sermon prep work and preach a recycled sermon in one another’s pulpits.  That has allowed me 15-20 hours extra this week – to meet with men from our church, to read, to clear the desk of the last 4 months debri, etc.  And in so doing, I feel I am running toward the ministry of West Valley with clarity and joy.  Weird, retreating away from the daily tasks and yet more intune with the task of ministry itself.  It must take a “retreat” week to step back and see things clearly… 

It gets even better.  What a week for a snow storm… RETREAT home to play in the snow with kids, etc…

Some pastoral buddies of mine are on their “sabbatical year” – getting to take 4 month retreats with their family.  Well deserved and very important, so I see.  I guess that, technically, I am 4 1/2 years from earning that sort of retreat.  But I’ll take a week here and there… to run from it all that I might run toward it with joyous submission. 

I guess all I am saying is that exhaustion from ministry is not necessary linked to intentionality in ministry.  Good lesson to learn young man.

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