Bethany and I are mid-week of our vacation to Martha's Vineyard, Mass. For me, vacations are a lot like a Shakespearean tragedy, at least in narrative form. There is the beginning, the rising action, the climax, the falling action, and the denouement. The difference, hopefully, is that we all won't end up dead due to our character flaws.
Today, for me, was the climax. I have been using this vacation as a time to recenter myself and evaluate the way things are going in my life. This last year has been an incredible time for us, but many bad things have happened. As I tried to express in the last post, my faith has been at a low-ebb. I also (just ask my staff) have been frequently frustrated, angry, and difficult to deal with--not characteristics I'm famous for. I've even said to one of my workers that I'm not the person I want to be. So this vacation couldn't have come at a better time. Today especially.
I took a five-mile walk to rethink many bedrock parts of what I say I believe and what I actually do. The problem, for me, comes down to the Spirit. I'm not sure I have the Spirit, not sure if I would know if I did, and am not sure that I see the Spirit working in the Church today. I ranted, I raved, and I attained at least a little peace. All the percolating thoughts about textual problems, the God-Jesus-Spirit problem, my own lack of distinguishing Christian characteristics, and what my role in God's plan is all seemed to settle. I have questions, but I also have a quest en route now. My explorations will take me back to my roots (working in Hebrew and Greek), through different traditions (especially Orthodox Judaism), and mostly between myself and God.
But now starts the falling action. I want to get back home now. I want to get into the texts, I want to start praying in my called-to-place, I want to start working again. I especially miss being able to make espresso and roast coffee--the Vineyard isn't the best place for a good cup, an ok cup maybe, but not a particularly good one.
I imagine that a vacation should work like a Sabbath. At first, the excitement of not going to work is paramount, leading up to the climax of worship with God's people (the sacrament and the spoken Word), and falling through mealtimes until, right before bed, the urge to work appears strongly again.
I'm glad to finally feel rejuvenated and to have the desire to go back to work, work that I love, work that means something to myself and my community.
Great vacation so far.