Totally Relaxing

Yesterday was the perfect way to end a sabbatical. I experienced an all day "Practicing the presence of God" retreat followed by a "Contemplative Youth Ministry" presentation. It was like getting a back massage when you were already completely relaxed -- absolutely, totally relaxing. The retreat and presentation were also the perfect companion to Soul Searching : The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers, the book I just finished. The book, Contemplative Youth Ministry, really addresses some of the issues in Soul Searching and offers suggestions to engage people with ancient practices to help them really meet God and be moved to live as one of Jesus followers instead of using religion as a tool to be good and to be successful.

The day also helped me to reflect on the wonderful experience sabbatical has been. As I worked on the various projects I wished to do during sabbatical, I was drawn closer to God because the noise of everyday life was filtered out in favor or something that gave me an invitation to listen.
  • The music reached a place in me that never has a chance to get reached that deeply. And because there was so much music, I was able to stay in that place much longer than ever possible.
  • The writing helped me to reach deeper into how I experience God in my life. It really helped me to reflect on what God has done and continues to do.
  • The reading gave me insight that I know will help me as I re-enter the world of working.
  • The relaxing and silence did exactly what the books say they do. They let me simply be. They let me experience the love of Jesus uninterrupted by anything.

Sabbatical has been relaxing, refreshing, rejuvenating and renovating.


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