Today was one of those times when one has the opportunity to take a deep breath after a particularly intense time or important accomplishment. Even when I’m at home from pastoral transition work elsewhere there is usually lots of things to attend to from a distance. Today was a day to step back from it all to breathe the crisp and distinctively fall-smelling air, to bask in the unseasonably warm mid-day sunshine, and to look in amazement at the myriad of yellow, orange, and red colours amidst the still-unaffected proliferation of greens.
Yesterday too was an important day in the journey of Second Wind Ministry. Several directors and I had what I believe was our eighth Annual General Meeting. This is always an important time for me because it is a time to report on what I have been doing through this ministry, to give an account of my management of the gifts and resources I have been given, and to plan a little for the year ahead. One faithful board member, Charles Claus, of Terrace, was not able to be there because of his market-garden business and other pressing responsibilities. Alan Bromley, our secretary, I believe has been at every one of our meetings for the last eight years. Two new recruits to the Board are Arlo Johnson and Reuben Gabriel. Both have had extensive experience in Christian ministry, much of it being pastoral work. It was good to share breakfast with these men, to hear of God’s blessing in their own lives, and to feel their interest and support for the work that I am doing through Second Wind Ministries.
But in as much as our meeting also fulfills a legal requirement under the Society’s Act of BC, it’s always a relief to have that meeting and to send off my report that all is well. So for all these reasons, today was definitely a day just to step back, to relax, and to reflect on all of God’s goodness so evident also in the beauty of the season. These kinds of times are important for everyone. And time for contemplation and reflection is certainly an important part of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. This is what is so significant about God’s ordination of what we know as the sabbath. It is especially important for those of us who serve officially and professionally in Christian spiritual ministry.
Far too often we tend to skip this discipline and commitment because we feel compelled to “be on duty” for some pressing need. Today, my wife and I stepped back. We slept in, listened to the service and message of a well-known Bible teacher/pastor on television and then headed out to a place where we knew there would find some beautiful colours of the season. Conditions couldn’t have been more ideal. The sun was shining, the air was warm, and the travel was light and relaxing. We drove for an hour and a half to a small little village on the end of a large lake nestled among the low mountains of British Columbia’s north/central interior. We stopped in the village and walked among the leaves of the tall trees near the lake. We found the Provincial Park and were amazed by the tranquility and beauty of the place.
We walked the paths among the colourful trees and shrubs. We descended to the water-front and walked along the beach for a long ways — taking in the expanse of colour against the sea and sky-blue horizon. And we were alone for the whole time — just the two of us and our dog, Charlie. Yet at the same time, we were conscious, each in our own quiet way, of the unique artistry that could only be attributed to a person-like God. It was evident that we both needed that kind of day. There is a time, to retreat, to step back and regroup. Today was that kind of day. I give thanks for the sabbath He gave. I think we’re ready now — at least for a small space — of all that lies before. Thank God for sabbath! ed