The Pause that Refreshes
In 2008 (as best I can remember) I began writing a column for the Tunica Times, a weekly newspaper published in Tunica, Mississippi. At the time I was serving a church in that town as interim pastor. I continued writing the column until I moved to my current church, Graceland Christian (Disciples of Christ) in Southaven, Mississippi. I didn’t feel comfortable writing for a newspaper located in a town I no longer had a direct connection with, so I switched to blogging. I’ve been doing this ever since, writing every week unless we were out of town on vacation. For a while I even wrote then, until I figured out that vacations were supposed to be a rest period from ordinary activities.
I’ve referred to this blog as my therapy. Writing is good for me. It helps me organize my thinking. I’ve worked out a lot of my own theology by sitting down each week at the computer and wrestling with a topic or a passage of scripture to try to decide what I believe. I’m not sure I understand God any better than when I started writing, but I feel more confident in many of my beliefs.
Recently this writing has become more of a chore than a pleasure. It’s time for me to step away for a while.
Some of you may remember the product for which the title of this piece was once a slogan. I will not mention that product in case using its name might involve copyright infringement. This phrase represents my thinking and feeling at this moment.
How long will this pause last? I’m not sure. It may be a week, or a month, or longer, even much longer. The simple answer is, I guess, until I feel refreshed.
This is not an easy decision, nor one quickly arrived at. I’ve been considering this for a while now. I will spend this week as I do every week. I write my first draft on Monday or Tuesday, then review it each day for the rest of the week, making changes, and, I hope, improving my work. Lately I’ve found myself putting off writing until Wednesday, a sign, I think, that I need a rest.
I’m writing this on Tuesday. I’ll review it throughout the week. If by Sunday I still believe this is the right decision, I’ll publish it. If not, I’ll make some excuse for not writing this week and begin again next Monday. I think that’s the fairest I can be to myself.
This may come across as self-serving, and perhaps it is. But perhaps that’s all right. One thing I’ve learned over the past year is how wonderful retirement can be when I let go of things. I think the lesson I’m learning is that sometimes it’s okay to be self-serving, to let go of things and enjoy a slower pace of life. At least that’s where my thinking is right now.
And so I press the pause button. To you who have been with me on this journey, thank you for your companionship and your attention.
May the Lord watch between thee and me while we are absent from one another.