by Dr. Rick Jordan
Editor’s Note: Rick Jordan went on sabbatical this summer for 13 weeks and journaled about his experience . His hope in sharing his journal entries is to encourage churches and faith communities to offer their ministers a sabbatical for rest, reflection, and a renewed commitment to their work.
The week after our trip to PA was to be a week at home, doing bills, chores and maintanence. We began on Monday with a day of painting. As I was cleaning up, around 8 PM, Susan got a phone call. It was a friend, Cecil. His wife, Resa, had been in an accident in the Myrtle Beach area. It was a single car accident, she was in the hospital and Cecil was leaving to see her. He wanted Susan to email their Sunday School class to ask for prayers. As the call was finishing, I whispered to Susan, “ask if he wants me to go with him.” I knew that would be a long 4-5 hour drive alone, just thinking about what he would be facing. He said yes.
Cecil swung by the house that we are renovating to pick me up. I jumped in the car and we took off. I had not had a chance to talk much with Cecil about my sabbatical thus far, so that took up a lot of our time. There was also discussion about the accident, about his job and there were periods of silence.
When we got to the hospital, Resa was awake and alert. She’d passed out while driving. The major concern not not her few bumps and bruses, but the reason for passing out, so many tests were scheduled to be run the next day. Cecil and I found a hotel near the hospital and stayed the night. The next morning, he and I went to the car lot where Resa’s car had been taken. As he was collecting items from the car, I called Susan to give her an update. “You’re going to have to come get me,” I told her, “because Cecil is going to need to be here for several days.” I had no extra clothes or toiletries, etc. So, Susan made plans to bring me a change of clothes and to pick me up.
When I told Cecil of that plan, he said, “Why don’t you plan to stay the week? The condo we rented has two bedrooms.” I called Susan and we worked it out! Resa was released after a couple days. We got to eat meals together, relax on the beach together and just enjoy being together.
Cecil said at the end of the week, “Thanks, I couldn’t have done this without you,” which surprised me, but made me feel good. But actually, I was appreciative, too. I was glad to have a week away from the renovation. I was glad to have an unexpected week at the beach. Most of all, I was glad to practice being a friend.
Rick Jordan is the Church Resources Coordinator for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina. You can read more about his sabbatical on his blog, Rick’s Reflections.