I’ve been on an unexpected vacation since this past weekend. Since then, I have spent most of my time taking a step back and reflecting on the last couple of years of ministry. And I couldn’t help reminding myself of one of my favorite quotes: “If you think back, and replay your year – if it doesn’t bring you tears of joy or sadness, consider the year wasted.” Now, I must ask, were the years wasted?
What has become surprisingly clear over the past couple of weeks is how much of an impact I have on people’s lives. From my friends to people I’ve meet off the street, I’ve touched lives far more than I’ll ever realize.
Then there are those moments of immense pressure, to witness someone make the walk toward oblivion, knowingly, and choosing to walk toward an inevitable end. Being the sign on the road, or worse, being the friend in the car, screaming at the top of your lungs until you have no other choice but to roll out of the car before it careens off a cliff.
In my last semester, I took Psychology of Interpersonal Relationships where I learned that people must have at least three positive experiences to outweigh the negative ones. I wonder if the same applies in relationship types.
As I contemplate taking a three-month sabatical, I find myself wondering what God is doing in my heart right now. Why do I feel so unstable and unable to cope? Why do I have a difficult time letting people go?
The only conclusion I have come up with…the one that makes sense…is that I care too much. And I believe it’s unhealthy. I think I am taking on a responsibility that is too great. Caring and loving in general is not a bad thing. But when I start taking on burdons that aren’t mine in hopes of solving them, then I’ve only increased my load.
I’ve also begun to think about what I would do with my sabatical. I’ve begun imagining posibilities that I didn’t consider before. Taking an extended vacation somewhere in the south. Maybe hike the Shenandoah mountains.
I’m unsure how to use this time now given to me. I’m hoping that whatever I do, I’ll get the healing that I desperately need. And most importantly, that God will touch my heart and remind me that I am his.