…or maybe it’s just in a Honda Civic.
I am lurching toward a Sabbath. I can tell, because there’s one tiny sparkle of energy that’s competing with the rest of my body, which wants to smother the life of that pathetic flame.
A committee member left me a lovely email last night saying that she expected me to do a bunch of work while I was on vacation. It’s assumed that I will be answering my email. But I won’t. I’m going to have one of those auto-response messages. I love those things.
Everything in me needs a rest, rest, rest.
Whenever a member of the congregation meets with the HOS and me about going into ministry, the HOS always says (very first thing), “You get four weeks of vacation and two weeks of study leave.”
I add, “And a book allowance.”
It may not be THE reason to go to seminary, but it is really nice. I’m taking it in one big chunk, for the first time. I never did that when I was a solo. Partly, because I (secretly) had that fear that it would all fall apart if I left that long (shame on me!).
So, while your waking up from your Harry Potter hangovers, I’ll be taking it on the road in the Merritt mobile. Here are four vacation suggestions:
Mooch off of friends as much as possible. I mean, who can afford four weeks in a hotel? Plus, let’s face it. Most church leaders spent their lives making friends in church, right? Now that the church is also the job, we don’t have that important source of social interaction. We have other ways of making friends, but many of us have to move often, and we’re always starting over.
So, I say mooch off your college and seminary buddies, until they’re ready to kick your sorry rear out the door. Stay more than three days, become bad fish. Most importantly, enjoy being able to talk and laugh with the people who think it’s outrageous that anyone would call you “Reverend.”
Stay away from the parishioner’s second home. It sounds great, right? A free place, on the lake, for a week? But, I tell you, it’s a trap! Don’t do it! Here’s the reason: You’ll spend most of your time wondering why their second home is ten times nicer than your only home.
Buy the freaking portable DVD player. If you have children, it’s worth the outrageous amount of money. Even if it breaks down in a month. Even if you spent your life (before children) cruelly mocking the crowd who owned the minivan/DVD combo. It’s time to swallow that pride. Because hearing Sponge Bob’s laugh for sixteen hours is just WAY better than hearing “Are we there yet?” for sixteen hours.
Read some trash. Magazines even. If you’re like me, and you find the most entertaining books are still a bit spiritual, that’s okay. As long as it’s entertaining. Like Sue Monk Kidd’s fiction or Anne Lamott (SMK is kind of chic lit. Lamott transcends genders, but what do the guys read?) I’m reading Eat, Pray, Love right now. It’s on the top of the NYT nonfiction bestseller’s list, but it’s very entertaining.
Okay. That’s it for now. Any suggestions for me as I head out? Eat, Pray, Love is not going to last long.