The BEMA Podcast

Love God. Love others. Become people of the Text.

100 Days to Close This Sabbatical

We started this blog just under two years ago when I began a journey through what I was calling my (informal) Sabbath Year and Year of Jubilee. I know that many of you have followed along on that journey here. The first year was spent ruminating over the theme of “listening” and considering all the things we wanted to learn from this space. Last fall saw a transition to a new theme, one of “gratitude,” and that’s been a wonderful time full of little gifts we could see coming on the calendar.

And yet throughout that entire journey, you’ve heard me say that one of the things I’ve failed to accomplish is the margin or rest component of sabbatical. Part of the meaning contained within the word “sabbath” refers to a stopping or a ceasing. To these ends, my leadership team recommended that I close this two-year experience, after the craziness of my book tour, with a 100-Day Step-Away, taking the last three months of my two years to make sure I find that margin and rest — one of the most important components of a sabbatical space.

So from Memorial Day until Labor Day, I’ll be stepping into a time away. It will be a great time of rest and renewal as well as pulling some thoughts together about my own personal and professional development. I’ll be scheduling two articles before I leave that will post here while I’m away. Here is what you can expect:

HOW TO PRAY FOR MY STEP-AWAY: All along the way, you’ve seen regular lists of prayer suggestions for those of you who pray for our ministry. Many of you have asked for these posts in particular, so I’m giving you one last post to help us close well. I could not emphasize enough how grateful I am for those of you who give in this way to what God is up to. Thank you.

NEW COMMUNICATION FLOWS: Sabbatical means there will be some auto-responses attached to my email inboxes. This wouldn’t surprise most people. However, there is a lot (and I mean, A LOT) of communication that steals my time — multiple inboxes, social media, and other messages — all of which come from people who matter to me. It’s been hard to steward that load well. Sabbatical means redirecting these messages to new places and capitalizing on some new practices that keep me from returning to some unhealthy spaces after sabbatical. So there will be a post talking about those things as we try to spread the word.

So that’s what you can look forward to. Here goes nothing! (Literally, as in sabbath rest, “nothingness.”)