We have a saying in Estonia which goes something like this - when the cat is away, the mice party. It basically means that when the boss or the person in charge has left, the others (inferiors) take it easy and have a good time. I don't think I've ever put it into practice as directly as I did this week.
My senior pastor took a week's vacation and left the country with his family.
Mwahahahaha! [evil laughter]
I didn't quite leave the country but I did leave the city for almost three days (and I didn't even feel guilty about it). I went back to Saaremaa island, the place which pretty much saved my life and sanity a month ago. P. and K. were kind enough to welcome me again and once again I got to work on the construction site and have generally good time with them. K. and P. are just about the nicest and warmest young people I know, they most certainly have the gift of hospitality (which I totally lack) and spending time with them does good to my soul. M. was also supposed to join us but he got sick so it was only me this time who went over to the island. They were good and slow and quiet days, working in the church's apartment with P. during the day, having long conversations and playing with their little daughter in the evenings. No emails, no sermon writing. No rush, no noise, no stress. Days almost as good as they can get on this side of Jordan.
Having said all this, I certainly don't want anyone to think that I'm tired of my job or that I've lost the joy in it. I haven't. Just last week, after a long church board meeting, I walked back to my apartment late in the evening and I thought to myself - to wake up every morning and to know that I work for the church and for the people and for God on a daily basis, it's just about the best thing I can imagine. It has become increasingly difficult for me to imagine I could ever do anything else than to work for the church (all theological academic institutions included). It is a real privilege. Also a responsibility but first and foremost, a privilege. I had the same feeling last Sabbath when teaching homiletics. I very much had the feeling the whole day yesterday when back in the office again, writing a sermon and translating a church planting manual and having a long dinner with one of our conference's students I'm currently mentoring. The feeling is slightly weaker today - the office printer has stopped working and I can't print out tomorrow's sermon duh! But despite broken printers, the feeling is still there. :)
I've accepted the proposal to write my essay into an article. It needs to be done by the end of May. Looking at May's schedule, I'll probably regret the decision.
Tickets to UK have been purchased again. I need to breathe some Newbold air and hit the National Gallery with Dr A. N. again. There are things in life you can live without, and then there are things you cannot possibly live without...
And to the best older brother in the world - palju õnne sünnipäevaks! Ma ei jaksa Jumalale kunagi piisavalt tänulik olla selle eest, et sa olemas oled.