10 Days into my sabbatical and what what have I learned
(((My time here in Lubbock has been good and has been helpful as I reflect on my life both as Chris Lake and Pastor Lake. The theme of my sabbatical is H.O.P.E. Health (mental, emotional, spiritual and physical), Optimism, Passion, and Enthusiasm which is a nice way of saying the church wants a happy pastor when I get back. I can appreciate that. I want to be happy and passionate when I return as well. My fear was that that would not happen while I was on sabbatical but I can already tell that this is not going to be the case.
During my time at Gloria Dei Lutheran where I was confirmed and grew up I was reminded how passionate I am about ministry and the joy that comes from sharing those passions with other people. I truly enjoyed retelling the stories of my own congregation and some of things we have done and currently working on. I am so very proud of the work we have done and am now wondering what our next steps should be?
Also while I stayed with friends I was reminded about how much I miss being just Chris Lake. This does not mean that I forget my pastor side. In fact I rather enjoyed using my pastoral prowless to make jokes that only a pastor would dare to make. While walking around one night in Ransom Canyon (yes that is a real place) which is located near my home town I shared something irreverent that may the friends with me laugh and slightly gasp. They forgive me though because I am pastor. Pretty cool perk, but it also was fun to be able to say things and not have to worry about the ramifications. So often when I write a sermon, think about a response, or have to come up with something to say I have to seek out a polished set of words. However being in Lubbock with folks who knew me longer as Chris Lake than Pastor Lake is refreshing. Don’t get me wrong I like who I am. Its just fun to dance with my identity from a different point of view.
In addition I have already come up with an idea I picked up from my chemistry teacher who volunteers at his church in retirement. I’ll save it for when I am home but the fact that I clung to the idea as it was mentioned in passing was a small indicator that my pastor instincts are always looking for new ideas.
I am just about done here in Lubbock and it was been so enjoyable. I am so thankful for all the time I have spent here and the conversations I have had with folks. Thank you to Aunt Connie Goodwin, my new friend Ryan Phillips and my God parents Richard and Becky Peterson for giving me a place to stay, amazing conversation and helping me understand who I am in a much deeper level.
Tomorrow I get on a plane and fly to Knoxville, TN and spend time with Bob Stelter who has been one of my oldest mentors. I should also add that I miss my family something terrible and I can’t wait to be back with them. I am so grateful to Katherine for her love and support while I take this adventure. None of this would be possible with out you.