Sabbatical

Meredith said tonight that she thinks I need a sabbatical and I have to say I think she is right. I am feeling sort of drained lately and like nothing I am doing is really having any impact. When I am feeling this way it seems like every little thing that goes on grates on my nerves and leaves me feeling slighted or hurt or feeling like I’m not getting my due. I think a whole lot of the feelings I have are about me not getting what I think I am due.

Donald Miller said in his book “Searching for God Knows What” that aliens who came and checked out this planet would think that the most important thing to us was our place in line. Well, he didn’t say it exactly like that, but close to like that. He said that we are very preoccupied with being sure that we get the respect that is due us based on our place in the world and so much of what we do is to try and improve our place in the world or our place in line. People will do anything to move up in importance and they will do even more to keep from moving down. I think that is me to a T. Most especially when I am feeling a little drained and slightly marginalized.

This isn’t for Calvary People please stop reading.

Lately things at church have been building up to create a feeling that my youth, and by extension me, are second class citizens. I know that is common in most places so I shouldn’t complain, but that is a new thing in our church. It all started when we were kicked out of the sanctuary, now we have been kicked out of our Sunday school space and are just wandering around the church looking for open rooms every week. I don’t think the people making decisions in our church realize what sort of message that sends to the teenagers. I don’t think they see what it says about Sunday school and how important they are when it comes to attending.

I need to spend time understanding what is going on before I step in and try to change things. No one really understood what the youth needs were when it came to Sunday school. I guess I should have stood up and made more noise at the beginning, but I was either the only staff and trying to make things work or working with a new boss and trying to make things work, and I know that is no excuse, and this is all my fault anyway.

You see there is this big push in most of the circles of our church to get every Sunday school class out of our houses across the street and into the main building. That sounds like a noble goal except for the fact that the youth love being in the houses, they love having old rooms that they can play with and decorate and make their own. They love having a whole space that is just for them, even if it is ratty and run down. They love their old couches with the springs coming out (someone actually threw away our couches without asking me!) and they love their messed up bathroom. The reason they love it is because it was their space.

And no one stopped to see any of that. No one stopped to understand that those nasty rooms were part of our identity. No one stopped to see that by removing the students from that space and putting them in portable wall space no matter how great the walls are they have taken away some of what students liked about Sunday school.

What I see from that is there have been times when I have had great ideas and I thought for sure that my great ideas were the best ideas and I haven’t really stopped to understand the people who were already involved. I hope this has helped to open my eyes to that and that I will take the time to see things from more eyes than my own in the future.

Anyway, like Meredith says I need a sabbatical. If anyone wants to sponsor my year off just send me an email.

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