For the first time in six months, I am not preaching, leading, or even attending church today. (Shh! Don’t tell anyone.) I’m on vacation.
During the first week, my son and one of my daughters was in town. The four of us attended Les Miserables and a Seahawks game the day before my vacation. I spent three days helping my daughter shop for a car. She didn’t purchase one but did narrow her focus and identify what she wants. The two of us spent Friday riding a ferry and exploring Seattle. Yesterday, my wife and I bought paint, tile, and cabinets to remodel our laundry room. That project will take the first half of this week. Then Carol and I will head to SonScape in Colorado for an 8-day retreat focused on renewal–physical, spiritual, emotional.
In the midst of three weeks of vacation, conferences, family activities, remodeling projects, and spiritual renewal, it was appropriate that I read a quote by Richard Foster this morning. It is cited in Gordon MacDonald’s latest book, Building Below the Waterline: Shoring up the foundations of leadership.
Spirit of the living God, be the Gardener of my soul . . . Clear away the dead growth of the past, break up the hard clods of custom and routine, stir in the rich compost of vision and challenge. Bury deep in my soul the implanted Word, cultivate and tend my heart, until new life buds and opens and flowers.
That certainly expresses the prayer of my heart for my time off. I want to step away from my normal routines so that God can refresh and renew my spirit.