Let me introduce you to Atul Gawande, the author of the insightful and life affirming book about dying Being Mortal.
He is, in addition to being a National Book Award finalist and a staff writer for the New Yorker, a surgeon in Boston and a professor at Harvard Medical School. He is the director of a company promoting innovation in health systems and chairman of a NGO seeking to make surgery safer worldwide. He also is married with three children.
Typing that paragraph exhausts me.
Unlike Dr. Gawande, or so I must assume, I have only 24 hours in a day. I tend to sleep away six or seven of those. That only leaves me about seventeen, some of which I like to spend eating and taking care of personal hygiene. With what is left I do what I can do. I find I am more like Woody Allen in his comparison with Spielberg and Scorsese:
“‘I’m lazy and an imperfectionist,’ he explained in a 2015 NPR interview. ‘Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese will work on the details until midnight and sweat it out, whereas for me, come 6 o’clock, I want to go home, I want to have dinner, I want to watch the ballgame. Filmmaking is not [the] end-all be-all of my existence.’”
[from “The Remarkable Laziness of Woody Allen”, Atlantic Monthly, 8/10/2017, page 35]
All of which explains, if not excuses, why this space has been bewilderingly empty these past months. Though there are things I want to say, I’ve not had the time or space in my schedule to say it. I’ve not been teaching at Harvard or improving global healthcare, but I have been pastoring a church, caring for a family, doing some other writing, and watching Netflix.
I’ve also been preparing to take a sabbatical.This is a curious and misunderstood thing, so I want to spend some time explaining, if not defending it. This will hijack this site for a few months, I fear. However, there are those for whom this will matter. And I’m hoping that some will pass this on to their pastors to encourage them to consider a similar path.
But I move too fast here. Some of you are wondering what a sabbatical is, why it is necessary, and what it means in my own life. To that we will turn.
But not until I eat breakfast, something Dr. Gawande must squeeze in between his latest surgery and editing his next book.