End of Sabbatical 1
I am looking forward to getting back in the classroom. I'm not looking forward to the day to day grind of the semester. It is probably better stated, I'm not looking forward to the pace of the semester. I have so enjoyed being able to determine the pace of my day. Though I am capable of living a fast-paced life, I don't feel it is beneficial, and perhaps even God honoring.
I did get much work done on my dissertation, but I continue to have much to do. The challenge for me now is to work through the tedium of data analysis.
An unexpected benefit of my sabbatical is the spiritual refreshment I have experienced. I have had the time to read books that have stretched me as well as challenged me. In many ways, this spiritual refreshment began last academic year with the reading of Colossians Remixed. The focus on more of a post-modern hermeneutic went well with my dissertation focus on information. Along with that I began to read Brian McLaren's books A New Kind of Christian and Generous Orthodoxy. Because of our guest lecture series I also read Lauren Winner's books Girl Meets God and Mudhouse Sabbath. Her books challenged me to focus more on a liturgical rhythm to life and worship of God (After a frustrating experience with the Book of Common Prayer I now am using The Divine Hours). The common thread with these books is the willingness to look beyond the cultural boundries of my faith in order to live with a stronger focus on Christ. I know that is not an adequate description of what I've learned. I suspect I'll be blogging on all this for most of the upcoming semester.
In another post, I'll discuss other books I read that contributed to spiritual and academic refreshment. The bottom line: the sabbatical was wonderful! It is a shame that American companies don't practice sabbaticals (I am grateful academia does) since it is such a refreshing experience.