My bag is packed, and shortly I’ll head out, flag down a taxi like the best of New Yorkers and head to the airport. I still have the rest of July for the Sabbatical, and massive amounts of work to put what I’ve written and thought about during these weeks into a coherent form, useful to the church I serve, and perhaps to the church world at large.
One last walk in Central Park this morning helped me to see three things.
First, I accomplished a great deal on this time away. I am rested, healthy, filled with the love of family and hugs from grandchildren and grateful for a sense of accomplishment for the work I was able to do. I enjoyed seeing new sights, trying new foods, renewing deep family ties and old friendships. Pretty wonderful.
Second, there will always be more to do, more to see, more to learn, more to experience and enjoy. In some ways, I got a taste of infinity, a glimpse of God in being aware of how much I didn’t do, how much I don’t know, how much will always be left undone, untouched, not experienced or explored. I find great comfort in my smallness, even as these were, for me, large travels.Third, none of this time could have been possible without the incredible generosity of family, friends, and my church. In nine weeks away, not one night was spent in a hotel, and 99% of my meals were eaten in the company of family and friends–and cooked by them as well. One son’s frequent flier miles bought my airline tickets. Family opened their homes, spare beds and couches, shared their bathrooms, and let me borrow their computers. I’ve spent little–mostly on making sure meals had wine and children had gifts, plus local transportation costs in London and NYC. Simply amazing.
I have this sense that I have been privileged to experience the best of the Kingdom of Heaven and wish to offer that to everyone I meet and encounter. This is what changes the world.
I am one very fortunate woman. Much has been given to me–and much is required of me. May I be faithful in that holy responsibility.