I never imagined when I began writing this blog during my tenure as editor of Pray! magazine that it would still be going seven years later. But, by God’s grace, it is.
At the beginning of each new year, I’ve asked God if He wanted me to continue writing. The answer has always been “Yes”—until now. I’d been sensing recently that perhaps it was time to slow down, pause, or even stop. When I asked God a month ago, the first thought that came was “sabbatical.”
I’ve never had a ministry sabbatical. So I pondered that idea. And that’s when I realized that I’d been at it for seven years—seven, the biblical number that signals it’s time to rest, to let the earth go fallow so it can replenish.
Shortly after hearing about a “sabbatical,” I had a dream. I have lots of dreams. Most of them are not significant. But I can tell when there’s one that I need to pay attention to, and this was one of those.
I dreamed that I had inherited an old house—it reminded me of my grandmother’s, which was probably built in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. The house seemed to be in nice condition, good order, and in unremarkable, but pleasing style. At least on the first floor. But when I went upstairs and opened the door to the master bedroom, I gasped. The room was a complete wreck. It looked like a cyclone had swept through. Furniture toppled. Paper bags, and boxes scattered. Clothes shoved into corners. Broken and useless stuff strewn everywhere.
Dismayed, I gingerly started picking through the rubble. To my surprise, I found a jewelry box overflowing with beautiful precious and semi-precious stones in gold and silver settings. I discovered some breathtaking wood carvings made from exotic woods. Against a wall, a shelf full of rare, vintage Steuben glass. I don’t remember anything after that, probably because I woke up.
When I asked the Lord about my dream, He responded not exactly with words, but with a distinct impression. I’d been pondering recently what it really means for God to abide in me, to dwell in my heart by faith, to live in me, hope of glory. It seemed to me that He was showing me that there are parts of my “house” that are messy, cluttered, and scattered. But amidst the disarray, there are treasures He has hidden there. Treasures He wants to uncover and display. But first the clutter—the distractions that take too much of my time and attention—needs to go.
So, there was the answer to my question. It seems that 2017 for me includes a sabbatical from blogging. I’ll be closed for remodeling so the Lord clean out the clutter and find the valuables that have been hidden under too much stuff.
I don’t know at this point if this is a pause or a full stop. I suppose that is something that I’ll ask God as 2018 draws near. But that’s a ways off. For now, He and I have some deep cleaning to do.