So, this long weekend couldn’t have come at a better time for me! The last couple of weeks have been exhausting–wonderful, exhilarating, and stimulating–but exhausting nonetheless. So it’s a good thing that my family and I are getting away for the weekend, to the Shenandoah valley in Virginia. We plan to soak in the hot tub, watch the river float by, explore the nearby caverns, and just generally relax–pure heaven! The last few months have been a whirlwind of activity and change, and this weekend will be a great opportunity to put all of that behind us and move on.
Someone who’s not in my immediate family might wonder why I would choose to leave campus and community so soon into the new school year. Wouldn’t being on campus provide a great opportunity to connect with those students who don’t go home for the long weekend? Yes, it probably would. I might even get the chance to know some my neighbors better over a friendly Labor Day cookout. I could even get in some time writing that sermon that I need to have done for next week! All of those activities would be worthwhile, and would probably net some great opportunities for ministry. But they would probably also contribute to an early demise. If there is one thing I’ve learned about myself, it’s that I need to take time to prioritize my family life, and to have time to play and relax. Otherwise, I would quite likely work myself to death. Or, I would become so exhausted with what I am doing that I come to resent the work I do, and I never–ever–want to have that happen to me again. It’s happened before, and it’s not a pretty place to be, I can tell you.
Therefore, I will be turning off my phone, walking away from my computer, forgetting about my Twitter feed, and generally downshifting for the next several days. And my pastoral advice to anyone who happens to read this?
You should do the same.