Monday, April 04, 2005

Vacation Reflections

It's harder for me to take vacation in this third year at Grace, SLO than it was the first two years. This scares me a bit and it scares Susie a lot. Here are some reflections. . . . things I am thinking about on this first Monday back:

Family Time: We had a great time as a family this week. . . going miniature golfing, going to the beach, playing games, watching movies, riding bikes, hanging out. Susie and I had a chance to go on a date (thanks Vallieres). Daily life is demanding. I miss out on so much in the grind. Taking work off the radar allowed me to savor these precious ones.

Unplugged: The Theule Family is very WIRED. It was hard for all of us to turn off that computer and stay away. The internet is such a great tool, but it's very valuable to unplug and disconnect once in a while. I think we need to be more disciplined in this area as a family. I love the dialogue that email and blogging makes possible, but I get pretty tied into it.

Renewed Perspective: None of us is near as important as we think we are. It's true, we are very important to those closest to us, but beyond that none of us is indispensable. Our significance comes from our identity in Christ, not from what we do or how we perform. Grace Church, SLO doesn't need Tim Theule. The Central Coast doesn't know or care who Tim Theule is. God doesn't need me. I need to be reminded of these realities. Stepping away from it all forces me to come to grips with these facts once more in a very real way. It (hopefully) enables me to come back and serve again joyfully, faithfully and sacrificially. . . to do my very small part in my generation to advance the kingdom of God here on the Central Coast.

Rebalance: This first quarter of 05 has been a challenge. Susie has been not been feeling well in the first tri-mester of her 4th pregnancy. Everything has been a little out of wack. The vacation has given us a chance to take a breather and look ahead to what hopefully will be a more balanced Spring. One area I am going to try and work on again is my need for regular exercise. I had a chance to get on my mountain bike again this last week. It felt great. Somehow this has got to be a priority. Ministry is never done, so I need to walk away. I do a pretty good job of taking my days off every week, but I could do a better job integrating exercise during the week.

Refocus: Easter week is intense. It is so good to get away immediately afterward. There is lots happening at Grace these days. I need to rest and rejuvenate just to keep up with it all. Spring is going to be great! I love the long days and the warmer weather. Glancing at the calendar, I see Mexico dinners, baptisms, child dedications and picnics on the horizon. I think I am ready to go again. By God's grace, let's enjoy. . . . .

Life Together.


Doug Kyle said...

Well put, Tim. Sounds like a great vacation. Just when I start to think I'm all that, I'm reminded of Don Smith's words, "Take preaching seriously, but don't take yourself too seriously when you preach."

And by the way, congrats on expecting again.

Bob Eckman said...

Welcome back Tim and family...
Your comments reminded me of John the Baptist when he said, "He must increase, but I must decrease..."
God has brought you to SLO and we are grateful... Grateful because you focus on Christ Who is our life, grateful because you remind us to find our identity in Christ...Thanks for reminding me dear brother.

jeff martin said...

Thanks for sharing the real things... We all get wrapped up with self importance and it's very difficult to unwind. Your leadership intensity needs a break to sustain the long journey ahead. I can respect the need for excercise as part of the routine. It gives the brain and soul just a small knap from the grind. It will make a difference. The icing on the cake - run to the top of Madonna makes for great prayer grounds!

Thanks for reminding your brothers of the things that are important to you and to us all. As Ron said last year - Give 'em Heaven this weekend!

Dave McShea said...


Sounds like a great week for you. I appreciate your thoughts on priorites and the dangers and snares we all face in this over connected world.

Looking forward to you opening the Word on Sunday!