My sabbatical doesn’t officially start until 22nd of this month but as I sat in our healing service on Sunday I was reminded of something I learnt some time ago, I knew I’d never remember it for 3 weeks and so I’ll write my first blog now.
About 8 years ago I was on a training weekend and we were asked the question; “If you are driving and you want to make the car go faster what do you do? ” The answer most of us gave was; “Put your foot harder on the accelerator.”
This is true, this action does make your vehicle go faster, it was described to us as a first order change. The pressing harder on the accelerator affects the speed immediately.
We were then told that although our answer seemed correct, it wasn’t the most efficient way of making the car go faster.
It might seem counter intuitive but the best way to increase the speed of a vehicle is to let your foot off the accelerator! You then press the clutch in, change the gear and then press down on the accelerator again.
This was described as a second order change. The initial action, letting off the gas, doesn’t affect the speed as you intend it to but changing gear and then pressing down means a greater potential for increased speed.
This analogy then was explained that; if the parish is busy, if you are working hard but not completing everything then a first order change would mean not having a day off that week, working every evening and missing out on family time.
A second order change might be having an additional day off in a week to study and pray, make sure that at least two evenings a week are free for family time.
I’m hoping that my sabbatical time will be a second order change :- refreshing and renewing me and my ministry to better equip me for the future.
In the mean time, on holiday today I have been building shoe racks out of sticks and then starting fires.