Once I was given a three-month sabbatical from my responsibilities as a pastor. I planned to spend lots of time near the ocean. I expected my sabbatical time to be easy and carefree, like an afternoon at the lake. At times it was.
But the ocean is different from a lake–there’s a power and wildness to the ocean, at once exciting and overwhelming. Some days I found myself fighting the current of my own fears and expectations. I forgot that letting go of control, seeking time to rest, and setting aside responsibilities can often feel like fighting a rip current.
Letting go and letting the waters carry you means not knowing the outcome and being open to new possibilities, to trust in the directions God will take you.
Taking the risk of rest brought grace to me and to those around me. And rest isn’t always an absence of movement; sometimes it’s giving yourself permission to seek what gives you life and joy and relaxing into whatever direction the current takes you.
This message is excerpted from “Rest and risk” by Jennifer Hackbarth in the June 2022 Cafe online magazine.
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