I jumped back in the saddle today.

I’ve been on vacation, trying my level best to say, “La-la-la-la I’m not listening” with my fingers in my ears whenever a church thought tried to clamber up into my brain. I’m a pastor, and I’ll always care about people — but every once and awhile I need to do what even Jesus did — withdraw. Unplug. Unpack. Unwind. Take a deep breath and let it out real slowly. Like three or four weeks slowly.

That said, now I’m back, and I feel lost in my own office, almost like I was doing someone else’s job today. It was like this last year too. It takes me a week or more to catch my stride, find my place, offer my best. My vocal chords aren’t in preaching shape. My noggin isn’t visionary in any sense of the word. It’s weird.

But I’m tired, too. Refreshed, sure — in a change of pace, change of scenery kind of way, but something in my soul is begging for another fifteen minutes in my “vacational” (vs. vocational) bed. Or maybe weeks. I live passionately, generally speaking, so I find days like today really hard. Like I’m grinding the gears on my Toyota Echo all day. I want to engage, to find my heart in this again, but instead I’m fighting sighs and a sluggish brain and ideas that don’t quite connect with anything substantial.

Renewal is coming, it’s just hard. God is breathing new life into me every day, and tomorrow me and my staff are headed for a Willow Creek Leadership Simulcast which never disappoints. I’ll need it, that’s for sure. I usually walk away with 3-5 ideas that spark my heart and are worth the price of the entire three day conference. I look forward to those again.