The Lord taught me many things during my sabbatical. One of the things that became very apparent was that I have a hard time relaxing. I remember thinking during my sabbatical that I am going to have a hard time during retirement.
The one thing that I was never guilty of was ignoring my family because of work. I always tried to keep my priorities straight. Faith and family came first, then everything else including work or ministry. However, I think I still feel a sense of guilt when I don’t think I am being productive with the rest of my time.
In your life, I hope you are keeping faith and family first.
Noted author and pastor, Lee Strobel shared something from his life that touched my heart regarding his former life as a workaholic.
“Then one day I hit rock bottom. I felt guilty for working so long and ignoring my family. I said to my son as I left to work that day (he was about eight or nine at the time) ‘Why don’t I take off work at noon today. I’ll come home and let’s just spend the afternoon throwing the football a round the back yard.’
So noon came around. Kyle got his football and he goes out on the front porch and sits on the front porch waiting for me. Friends would come by, ‘Kyle! We’re going to go play baseball down at the park. You want to come play ball with us.’ Kyle said, ‘I can’t do that. My dad’s going to come home at noon and we’re going to throw the football around the backyard this afternoon.’ He waited.
One o’clock came and two o’clock came and three o’clock came. And here I was back at the office. Some people had brought me a project. They needed my help on something. I got sucked into trying to do all this stuff and trying to please people. Four o’clock came and went and I realized, I’ve got to get home!
In your life, I hope you are keeping faith and family first…
So it’s almost 5:00. I pull into my driveway. There is Kyle still sitting on the front stoop with his football in his lap. And the thing that really broke my heart that day was that he wasn’t mad at me. He just ran up to me as soon as I got out of the car before I could even apologize, ‘Dad we’ve still got a couple minutes before dinner. Let’s just throw the football around for just a few minutes. Could we do that?’ He was grateful for that little amount of time.
I thought to myself, if my dad had done this to me when I was Kyle’s age, I’d be mad, yelling, crying. But Kyle wasn’t mad and I realized the reason why. This was business as usual for him. He was used to being treated this way. This was what his world was like. This was normal to him. It was normal to have his dad break his promise to him. It was normal for him to be last on his dad’s To Do list, the thing that he never got around to doing. That’s when I realized that this workaholism had to be rooted out of my life.”
It has always been my hope and my prayer that our church family would always live out the proper priorities. That everyone would keep God first in their lives. Then in the midst of seeking the Kingdom of God first, everyone would place their family time at a premium. With that being said, I hope that everyone will find favor in their work or ministry.
As for me, my sabbatical once again taught me how much I love being a part of our church family.
God bless you all.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Cory, d.v.