Friday, July 12, 2013

And so it begins...

(Wrote this yesterday...)

This is what I look like when I have to wake up at 2:45 AM to catch a flight. I'm sure this is information that you have been hoping for all along coming out of a sabbatical. And it's *surely* the first thing I thought I'd post having been several days since I have done so. 

I'm writing this on a plane right now from Denver to Portland. I am beginning the portion of my sabbatical journey wherein I have left my family behind (safely in Salisbury, MD with Meghan's parents) and I will be traveling alone from Portland to San Diego by car. I've been greatly looking forward to these next twelve days for some time. 

I will be visiting with old friends and mentors all along the way. I'll visit some sites, I suppose, but the main thing is driving sights of the coast and visiting with these people. I have long-loved to drive. In high school I was rather a loner, mostly by choice, but certainly also because social circles didn't seem to have the right place for me, or so I thought. I tended to float from group to group rather than allow people to become good friends. I still often act in this way. It is one thing the Lord is working on with me. Being an introvert and a pastor is not a rare thing (interesting when you think about it, really), but it's not always a favorable thing. Some think it weird that I greatly enjoy preaching to crowds of people at the same time, but struggle sometimes when sitting one-on-one across a table from someone. Like I said, the Lord's working...

So I mostly kept to myself in high school and the beginning of college. One result is that I grew to love the open road. I often drove far distances to see my favorite band or to go to our family cabin & camp in Vermont. With the windows down, music playing, and coffee in my hand, life was great.

When Meghan and I got married, we easily shared this love. We chose to drive quite a bit on our honeymoon, including over four hours the very day we got married. And we have loved to drive together to many places. Vermont, of course, is our all-time favorite. Later in college, we liked to go for shorter drives around the south shore of Boston. We can remember driving to church on Sundays through a little town not far from Quincy. Meghan remarked how "cute" the little coastal downtown was. Little did we know that Hingham would become our home.

As kids have come along, driving for fun has become rare. Our kids have certainly seen their share of the road and we enjoy driving together as a family, but for me, it's not quite like it used to be on the open road. So I'm looking forward to this very much.

I'm not driving every day. The first couple of days I will be here in Portland visiting with friends, reading, and praying. I continue to covet your prayer.