Elementary, my dear Watson

Friday, May 25, 2007
I find myself these days behaving a bit like Sherlock Holmes, searching for snippets and clues to the reason my spirit is disturbed.

Probably within only the past five years have I begun to be comfortable with the nature of my own personality. There is a sensitivity in there that I grew up in denial of, yet only recently have I begun to see it as who I am. I'm still learning how it works, how I work, and I am no longer in denial.

The nature of how I'm formed is simply one of sensitivity.
The more I walk in this new “Understanding” of myself, the more I discover about me and how I fit in my surroundings.

And sometimes I am frustrated with this part of me.

Like today. My spirit is restless and a bit disturbed. It feels like I am picking up a vibe from many of the people I care for, that feels different or strange.

I am wondering if this sabbatical they have offered me this summer is part of the cause.

The last time a pastor had a sabbatical from here, he left the church within a year after his return. And hey, statistics play out that truth, that nearly 90% of pastors leave their church within a year of their sabbatical.

I wonder if people are pulling away perhaps, in self preservation.

But there is a subtle shift in the church here too.

It's a good thing, an achievement kind of thing.
It's a “What's next for us,” kind of thing.

So maybe that's it.

Or maybe its just that everyone has bad gas.

Whatever it is, it has me restless these days, looking for the source.
I don't like feeling like this, it makes me cranky. And I end up asking people more often than I probably should, how they're doing, as I sort out clues to our life and sense of things.

But I end up at the place of prayer. Praying for these people again. Praying for my family and myself and our future together. Praying for peace for my spirit, or the right direction to dig in.

I think I'll go find a quiet corner for a while, and just talk and listen.

That's always good.

P.S. Did you know that the complete phrase "Elementary, my dear Watson" does not appear in any of the 60 Holmes stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

Well now you do.


  1. Those sabbatical statistics make me uncomfortable, too.

    In any event, I'm trying to send all good vibes your way.

  2. I don't like those statistics! They are shocking! Maybe we should change our minds! But, no, we have asked God about this and I believe He is leading.

    And you know that if 90% leave there are still 10% that don't leave! We have gone with the 90% once, I trust we will go with the 10% this time!

    Go and enjoy this one, Randall. Find new relationships with your Father during this time - and come back and bless us with your findings!

  3. Well those Stat's are loaded, saying many things, but I am glad for the opportunity to rest and retool a bit.

    As I said last night, I am grateful that the church has given me options. Not forcing me out of exhaustion to have to quit. That is a huge blessing.

    And hey, we're just getting started here!

    I am not planning on going anywhere.

    It's just this shift I'm trying to figure out.

  4. "Did you know that the complete phrase “Elementary, my dear Watson” does not appear in any of the 60 Holmes stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?"

    Yep. I've read most, if not all, of the stories, and I never saw it.

  5. I believe you did just that Jadon!


  6. You'll be in my prayers Randall, praying for peace for you.

    God bless,


  7. Hey Randall.

    I went to a lecture last night on El Camino-Santiago de Compostela. And he talked about his (the lecturer's) Sabbatical, this journey he took to Spain. You quote statistics.

    I read that you are "Dis-eased" that you are restless and uncomfortable. Then maybe if you approach your Sabbatical from another point as a period of Spiritual Renewal, then maybe you won't become a statistic. Some take a sabbatical to catch up on work, or studies. Maybe You should do something that feeds your soul and your spirit.

    Renewal asks of us to be present and to grow. You have been on this journey for some time. Life, like recovery are a day at a time effort. Change is inevitable and also unavoidable. Are you discussing this "dis-ease" with your spiritual director, and if not, then why not?

    A lot has happened in the last year, and maybe it is time to take that important stock and renew and refresh yourself, as well your ministry and your life. If your tanks are empty, then they must be refilled.

    It also sounds like you are in a process of discernment. But unless we Read, Pray, Meditate and Contemplate, are we ready to sit and listen for the voice of discernment? If your inner voice is silent then may I suggest you take more time to get quiet to listen for it. Maybe this sabbatical will put you back in touch with it, approached from the right vantage point.

    Do not give up yet there is still work to be done. When you die - you can rest, until then you must live your calling as God sees fit. Pray for that wisdom and peace that you speak of missing.


  8. We're behind you Pastor.....and we're not pushin' either!

    Restlessness can be good. It gets us seeking. Keep on.

  9. I can't speak for everyone, but I just have bad gas.


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