A Fourth Quarter Rest
“A Fourth Quarter Rest for PLD”
About five years ago, our annual Truebridge pastor’s retreat theme was “Staying Healthy and Finishing Strong”. A few pastors shared about their recent “burn out” experiences. It was sobering, but also encouraging as they testified of God’s grace to heal and restore. There were also some practical things shared to help us stay spiritually, emotionally and physically healthy. One of the suggested practices to avoid a crash was a periodic “Sabbatical”. The term is noticeably rooted in the word “Sabbath”, which is connected to “Rest”.
A few years ago I had mentioned to the elders the thought of taking a sabbatical. I wasn’t feeling the urgent need, but again, the philosophy is that it’s best done before the need is felt, as a preventative. They were supportive of the idea, yet I never pursued it further. A few months ago, the thought of a sabbatical came to me again. As I pondered the idea, I felt the Lord quickened a sports analogy. When an NBA basketball player is getting advanced in his career (in other words older!) yet is still a starter and contributing to the team effort, a coach will often take him out for a few minutes in the fourth quarter, rest him, and then put him back in to finish the game strong. This did strike me as a thought from the Lord regarding a sabbatical for me. Very shortly after (less than a week I believe), one of our elders asked me in a meeting…“whatever happened to you taking a sabbatical, we talked about it a few years ago but you never did?”. I shared the basketball analogy that popped into my brain a few days prior and the elders all felt that it was from God, and that I should pursue it.
So, the plan is for Sunday May 21st (our CFC Spring Picnic day) to be my last day “on the job” for three months. Becky has made plans to alter her schedule at the Life Center a bit, working some extra time leading up to summer, and using vacation time so that we can do things together. Some of those “things” will be traveling to see kids and grandkids (our youngest son Luke and his wife Laura are expecting their first child in July), visiting churches just to visit (I do have one preaching commitment and one wedding to officiate), reading some good books, and just relaxing and enjoying life and God’s goodness. When we are in the area, we look forward to fellowshipping at CFC.
One of our strengths at Country Faith is team ministry. We work better together than alone, each using our gifts to contribute and encourage each other. Also, if one person is gone, there are others that are there to step up. We have a great team of elders that are very willing and able (as well as many others in the body) to step in a bit more during my absence to “lead, feed and protect”. Along with some guest speakers like Jim McCracken and Kent Norell, who are already scheduled, the elders will share some preaching along with pastors Brad and Jim. I believe it will be a great summer for the CFC family.
Becky and I feel extremely blessed to be a part of such a loving and supportive body of believers. We are excited about what the Lord is doing at Country Faith and agree with Chris Tomlin’s song that “greater things are yet to come, and greater things are still to be done…” for the glory of the Lord. We look forward to our fourth quarter rest, and coming back into the game to finish strong for Jesus! In His Love and Service, PLD…Pastor Larry Dorman