I’m not sure who made the statement first, “Come apart before you come apart.” I’ve seen it attributed to Vance Havner and Jan Petersen. It is generally based on Jesus’ instruction to his disciples in Mark 6:31 (KJV). Regardless of who said it, it is wise advice to heed.
As I was hiking in the Quabbin Reservoir during a staycation, it dawned on me that this was my first real break in six months. I’ve been running since early February when I went to New Zealand for my daughter’s wedding. Since that time, I have preached, taught, counseled, mentored, gone to Russia, performed several funerals, led, planned, preached and taught some more … week in and week out without a break. I took a planning day a couple weeks back, but then again, I was still thinking and planning, so that didn’t count as a break.
The past two days, I have done some hiking at the Ashley Reservoir and the Quabbin Reservoir. This weekend, my wife and I will visit Niagara Falls. (Seems like water plays a major role in this vacation.) While it is a nice break, I’m not completely unplugged because I’m answering email, thinking about next week’s leaders’ meeting, and doing work for my Regent Class. I’m not sure pastors can ever completely unplug and stop thinking about ministry. But at least I’m not preparing a sermon or a lesson, so that is something.
One thing I realized from both my planning day and my hikes is that I need to be more intentional about finding activities that will refresh and renew my spirit.
Next week, I’ll hit the ground running and press on towards the holidays.