I can't say that I've earned a vacation after only six weeks of work, but the event for which I am traveling is several years in the making. My dear wife, Melanie and I will be traveling with our brood (geriatric doggy included) to Melanie's 15th college class reunion at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. One of the best ways I can support Melanie is help provide space and honor to her cherished friendships and vocational development history at her alma mater. It doesn't hurt that I enjoy long road trips with the bonus fall colors on the horizon. So off we go.
Some have given me puzzled looks about driving 1500 miles each way with two children--it's really six of one and half-dozen of the other in terms of transport. Will it be the intense and immediate pain of flying or the drawn out water torture of driving? Driving seems to work better at this point in our lives--we can control more of the variables, which is a key point in any adventure with children. We won't have to worry about car rentals or flying or security--too many uncontrolled variables with flying.
Some days it feels like we just left Sioux Falls. Some days it feels like we've been in Washington for years. I suppose I have the benefit of familiarity. It's all pretty new for Melanie, and she's still adjusting to the sudden detachment from day-to-day congregational life now that she serves in the SW Washington Synod office. But the drive will offer that blessed time of extended reflection that flying can almost never deliver (at least in my experience).
A big question for me is whether I continue to tweet or post on this blog. I now have a phone with connectivity capabilities that would allow me uninterrupted connection (though I'm not really sure about the passage through Montana). I'm leaning toward no posting--so if you see this post as the only post for a week, the decision was made to take a networking hiatus. I have always struggled maintaining a consistent flow of writing, so I have a fear of stopping and not being able to start again. I have been blogging consistently for almost a year--and I don't want to lose that momentum. The bigger specter of my writing life is that I become shrouded in self-importance that the world can't go on without my perspective (Twitter and Blogger are thus sinfully alluring at times). The deception of self-importance (not to be confused with destructive self-flagellation) can be healed through Sabbath--a time away--a time not to (mistakenly seen) as a time to go to church, but a time that my favorite OT scholar Walter Brueggemann says is intended (commanded!) to "STOP WORKING."
So, I shall stop working, enjoy may family and friends, reflect, and come back ready for a vacation after my vacation...
Tweets will continue through today. I will be glad to write again, and will return either Tuesday the 20th or Wednesday the 21st.
May the good Sabbath be yours as well, whenever that may be.