I was excited and sort of honored. With a background in teaching, it sounded at the time like he was handing me a mini summer vacation to keep me healthy. While it's not a vacation, it's at least a change in routine, time to read and reflect and think and pursue something other than cranking out another worship set for Sunday.
In the past four years I have worked in and around this idea of a study break. It's awkward at times, because, frankly, I know that some folks wonder what it is, why I get it and what the heck I'm doing. What makes me special as a staff member, to get three extra weeks "off"? It's a little embarrassing. 'Cause I'm all about making other people happy.
I've wrestled with this, along with trying to figure out the ebb and flow of my productivity.
And here's what I've discovered: my boss was right. I need this. And rather as a gift to me, in the long run it is all about the end result for the investment made in me by the folks who make it possible for me to pay the bills.
How do I know?
Because after two weeks away from being creative and productive (and, frankly, feeling dry and empty) - one week of study break paired with a real vacation week - I am full to overflowing with the creative energy necessary to meet my weekly responsibilities. I'm better spiritually, too; but simply based on what I am paid to do each week, I feel like a Krispy Kreme donut that just got a shot of the most delicious creme filling. I woke up this morning - early, way before the alarm - with a song floating through my head, something we needed for an upcoming service. I spent hours yesterday in planning for our next series and was thrilled with the collaborative efforts with my friend and partner and the outcome. A meeting with our missionaries resulted in the bones of an incredible service designed to honor their work, reflect the mercy of God and inspire others.
I feel like singing again. And, being an artsy sort, I can't make that happen on my own.
The bottom line is this: my boss was right. I am grateful. God is good.
And I can't wait for band rehearsal tonight!!!