Noticings – November 16, 2022


November 16, 2022

As you can see, I’m back! I pulled into the church parking lot on Monday morning and was greeted with a wonderful, large “Welcome back, Rev. Larry!” sign at the church door. Thank you for that! The two obvious and inevitable questions that everyone asks at such times are, “How was your sabbatical?” and “What did you do while you were off?”
My sabbatical was lovely. I was able to take the time I needed to decompress, try to find an even keel, and rest. I read, and read, and read – more books in 3 months than in the last 3 years. And they were novels, not theology! Pure escapism into other worlds. And I got outside everyday for chores, and gardening, and dog-walking, and just sitting on the deck and breathing (while drinking copious amounts of coffee, of course).
But most of all I immersed myself in music. I didn’t seem to have the creative capacity for writing new stuff – my brain was pretty fried. Instead, I just played, and played, and played. Mostly my new guitar – and mostly outside on the deck. Let me tell you, playing outside with the breeze blowing and the birds chirping along – that is a little slice of heaven! And the fall weather was so mild that I was still playing outside into November! What a gift. I also learned more about my fancy guitar foot pedals, and built and wired what is called a pedalboard so I can easily access all my groovy sounds.
These are all things that one just doesn’t seem to have enough time for in the usual busyness of the working world. I’ve joked that this was my ‘re-try-erment’! No, I’m not nearly able to retire, but I’m not gonna lie – trying it on for size felt really nice! I understand why my wife likes it so much!
Yes, I did some church reading and thinking too. You’ll be hearing lots about it in the coming months, starting this Sunday. My thinking was centred on how to navigate this idea of a hybrid church. This is our new reality. It’s not going away – nor should we want it to, because it’s very exciting. It’s just very different from ‘the way we’ve always done it’. Tune in on Sunday to hear more.
So, the big question: am I glad to be back to work? Yes. And no. Yes, I did miss my church stuff and my church family. I really do love my job, and it does feel good to be entering back into that rhythm, fairly refreshed. And at the same time, spending all your days immersed in your art and passion is very intoxicating and rewarding. Another joke I made was that if music paid better I might not come back. But since nobody is begging to make me a rock star I guess you’re stuck with me for a few more years. And so, I’m back. On we go…together.
(Click here to view the video version on YouTube)

Rev. Larry