Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Some of you will recall that the church leadership approved a 3 month sabbatical for me during the summer of 2011. In order to fund some special church projects in relation to the sabbatical as well as some extensive travel and study opportunities for myself and my family, a committee of church members worked with me to submit a proposal for an outside grant. Last month we were informed that we were not selected.Among the many words I could choose to describe my thoughts and feelings, disappointment is probably the most accurate. The word reflects loss of expectations, unrealized dreams, even a sense of personal failure. The dictionary says "to thwart or frustrate".

As the news settled I wondered "had good plans been thwarted?" It left me at a fork in the road. Do I follow in my mind and heart the path of "good plans thwarted" or was there another path - "God's plans unveiled" ?
Considering the character and sovereignty of God I had to step onto the latter road. The actual sabbatical will still take place and the lack of funding has no effect on the purpose and focus of my time. As I reworked the schedule of my time and  shaped a sabbatical mostly confined to Tucson I discovered that the things I didn't like about the change(and still don't like) and the source of my disappointment all spoke to areas of my life that needed refreshment and reformation. The sabbatical - at its heart - was designed for that very purpose. Turns out that the grant proposal process was God's design to bring clarity to the sabbitcal's focus and its role in my life and the life of the church.

So what do we do with disappointment? Embrace it. Walk through it. Look deeper. Most of all - see the Lord's faithful hand in the middle of it.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so happy to hear you are taking a sabbatical - I hope it is life giving for you!


What do you think?