Sometimes we need to “play” for awhile before getting down to business. I worked for a pastor who took a two-month sabbatical from his ministry to refresh himself in his calling as a minister. He chose to do a pilgrimage beginning in New England learning more about the Puritans, who left Europe to avoid being persecuted. He ventured on to Europe and had a fascinating trip. Pastor came back to the office on a staff meeting day and wisely tossed out the agenda and spent time with the staff sharing his journey and answering questions. If he had not corporately spent time with the staff, his day would have been consumed with everyone wanting to greet him and hear about his sabbatical.
Regardless if we are at work, a family gathering, or hanging out with neighbors, we need to take time to celebrate stories—the good news and the not-so-good. After becoming a widow, one of the hardest things I experienced was repeating the story of how my husband passed away. People weren’t being nosey, they genuinely cared about his short illness. I wished I could have called a gathering and told my story one time and got it over with.
Each time I shared my story, it became easier. I’m guessing Pastor enjoyed sharing his story and reliving the experience with people who would never make the same pilgrimage.
Thank you, Lord, for helping us stop work to celebrate the stories of others. Amen.