An Expansive Season
Updated: Sep 3, 2022
About a month ago, I was fortunate enough to travel around the Baltic Sea. As we moved through seven different countries over the course of two weeks, I began to inhabit a different space. The combination of being removed from familiar places and mundane routines with the newness of foreign scenery and the different rhythm of vacation time created an expansiveness of thought and being. This new space was refreshing and restorative with enough room to ease my weariness and refill my tank.
I long to inhabit continually that expansive space, but frequently I find myself ensnared by details and my thinking narrows, my vision shrinks, and I cannot see beyond the tiny world of minutiae. Now this is not necessarily a bad thing; details are important. In caring for the individual parts–no matter how small–we care for the whole and if we neglect the details, the larger project suffers. However, being so mired in the details that we lose sight of the big picture is not a good thing either.
Perhaps it is more of a balance of seasons or maybe one season serving as corrective for the other. We need the detail oriented thinking when we are attempting to effect change or in our daily work and we also need periodic times of expansive living so that we see our true place in the world and better understand our position in relation to ourselves, others, and God. I think the natural pull of life is towards the details, so we must be intentional about creating expansive spaces in our lives.
I pray that this sabbatical may be a time of inhabiting expansiveness for Rev. Nancy; that as she adopts different routines and looks at foreign vistas she may inhabit the larger picture of life. And while her travels make this time expansive, perhaps, we are not left out and there is an invitation for those of us who remain.
Over the past two and a half years, we as the Trinity community have had to be more detail oriented while we moved through discerning how to be church without the building to how to regather safely and authentically to what our new normal is. I know there are many more things clamoring for our attention–so many t’s to cross and i’s to dot–but I wonder if we could take this sabbatical to be a time of just inhabiting a more expansive way of being. I wonder what would be revealed to us in the expanse about ourselves and about God? I wonder how we could think differently and be differently in the expanse? My prayer is that we are able to enter this expansive season to find restoration, renewal, and widened vision that leads us boldly into our future.