January 12, 2010

Do you ever need a vacation from church?

Dear Friends, Do you ever need a vacation from church? If so, what do you do? Where do you go for spiritual nourishment?

Here is a story from Jacquie:

I couldn't fanthom going to church. I was physically tired and emotionally drained from people coming to me each Sunday, telling me their difficulties. When I asked, "Do you want me to tell Mike? (my husband, the pastor), sometimes the answer was "yes" and sometimes "no."

I talked to Mike and told him I wasn't coming to church for a month of Sundays. He said that was fine. He is always supportive in the area of ministry challenges. I can do what I need to do. I decided to attend Friend's Meetings in the area. Each Sunday I felt so relaxed walking into the sanctuary, not knowing anyone. I could sit, pray, listen and sing, without a line of people waiting to talk after the service ended. I was gone from home an hour not all morning. I decided I could easily become a Friend. I liked the simplicity of the service and the ten minutes of silence in the middle of worship.

I was so refreshed from my "vacation" that when the month was gone, I was ready to return to my church. Interestingly, no one asked Mike where I was. No one noticed I wasn't present. Jesus stressed the importance of going away...and being alone. I am thankful for the time I spent with God in another sanctuary with God's people.

Jacquie Reed, spiritual director, Stephen Minister, wife, mother, jreed46038@hotmail.com Fishers, Indiana

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