Today, like a lot of Methodist Ministers it seems, is my day off. But how best to use it?
The difficulty is that most of the day is spent on my own: kid's at school, wife's at work and then Uni, what am I to do? As home is also my office, I'm effectively spending my day off at work - unless I choose to go out somewhere, but that's not much fun on my own. And then there's the old "I'm sorry to ring you in your day off, but...", or worse still "I knew you'd be in, because it's your day off." Staying at home leaves you open to finding work to do, just to give yourself something to do.
The Methodist Church recognises this problem: it does say in its guidelines on Holidays that we should take "A minimum break of 24 hours each week, without structured work and if possible away from the manse." Of course that's not always easy, nor is it always cost-effective.
I notice that some of my colleagues have used today to visit the gym, visit B&Q, lunch wit friends, or simply to 'relax' - however they find to do that.
So, how have I used my 'sabbath' so far today? Breakfast & prayers, Facebook, a drive out to Meadowhall Shopping Centre (bought a couple of CDs, but didn't find the magazine I was looking for) and back, a walk into town (still no sign of the magazine), lunch with my wife, bus home, rip new CDs to iPod, listen to some of my new music and write this blog post. I plan to read for a while, enjoy a home-cooked lasagna with my wife, and maybe watch some TV or a film later. Not all that exciting, but I've managed some physical exercise, some mental stimulation and some space for God, so all in all body, mind and Spirit have had their share of my free time today. Hopefully that will help to sustain me, as a human being, as a child of God and as a Minister of God's church.