The Oracle on Has Left the Building

Today’s guest post comes from Clyde.

So Dale is on sabbatical, bless him.

Sabbatical is an Old Testament word and concept. In Leviticus God orders that every seventh year the land is to be given a solemn rest. I doubt that happened very often. Giving up a year of food does not seem possible. In Deuteronomy God says every sabbatical year, seventh year, you are to forgive all debts and make special efforts help the poor. I doubt that happened. So, you see, a sabbatical is supposed to last a year, but, please, no one tell Dale.

Dale in Hammock

The day of rest, the Sabbath, is based on the same word. A couple guest blogs back I mentioned Minnesota’s attempt to pass blue laws, which perhaps would have made Sunday more of a day of rest. I hate it as a law, but I appreciate the concept of Sunday as a sabbatical.

When a pastor takes a sabbatical, she/he is sent off with a blessing ceremony. Our lead pastor is on a three-month sabbatical. During his ceremony his stole (the long cloth that drapes around the neck and down the front) was hung over the pulpit, which seems vaguely funereal, or as if the stole is pointing a finger at him saying “get right back here and do sermons for us to ignore.”

Sabbatical seems a wise concept, for both the land and the people. It implies a rebirth, new growth, re-creation. Our modern use of the word recreation is such a small application of the word. Recreation is important, of course, but is is far from re-creation.

The concept exists in many cultures, such as the Aborigines’ walk-about, which, too, is a small word for a large concept. The Navajos and other American Native peoples have ceremonies designed to re-create a person.

Often I have tried to re-create myself and failed. I always end up the same person I disliked before, which is home turf for us Lutherans.

I am a little afraid of a re-created Dale. What will the nicest guy we know become?

How would you re-create yourself?

53 thoughts on “The Oracle on Has Left the Building”

  1. Thanks Clyde
    Excellent way to start the day

    The idea of taking a minute to recharge has some merit and if you realize while you are away recharging that you need a change then bless the recharge.

    It’s easy to get up and do the same thing today as yesterday and plan for some tomorrow without a lot of thought about how you truly want it to be. Standing back and doing an accessment is always a good idea.

    My recreation would find a number of modifications, I like me but there is certainly room for improvement. I would like to do the hard stuff first every time and get the ground work laid for the plan I am pursuing with i’s dotted and t’s crossed and files organized and in a row.
    I would be better about follow through and less about rolling ideas around in my head without the details worked out.
    As I write this I realize I am actually all about the genesis of the idea and if I could sit around and work on birthing new ideas with teams to get them rolling that would be my sweet spot
    Thanks for the session dr baboon t Marty trail pastor Clyde
    Self on sabbatical for 30 minutes out of the day
    A good way to spend it

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very nice blog, Clyde. I love your line “I always end up the same person I disliked before, which is home turf for us Lutherans.” So very Garrison Keillor.

    I’m with you wessew — well said, although I do have excellent, long wavy hair. Along the lines of yesterday’s blog, I continually re-think my beliefs and am open to new ideas. I guess I’ve re-created myself at least a few times. Getting married made me a wife. Having children made me a mother. Going through menopause is making me a wiser woman. Isn’t there a word for women of my age? Crone, dowager, matron … while they were originally words of respect, they now carry some shades of being old and dowdy.

    I would like to re-create myself into a more loving, kind and generous person. As an introvert, my tendency is to be a hermit. I’m quite sure I was a monk or hermit in a past life, as I have no problem with being alone. I feel I should be more involved in family and community, but books, karate and Downton Abbey have a far stronger pull on me.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Just an item about those Sabbath years.
        After every seventh Sabbath year, was the Jubilee year which was also a Sabbath year. So the harvest from the 48th year had to last until the harvest of the 51st!

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  3. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    I have had several opportunities to re-create myself. The opportunity that was unavoidable was presented to me in the form of cancer.

    Childhood was a heavy lift for me–my father became ill and changed when I was 4-8, sliding into the devastation of MS. Having been close to him as a little tyke, I slipped into the loss of a childhood depression. My Mom could not handle the situation gracefully either, becoming difficult and critical. My responsibilities as a child and teen-ager were not age-appropriate. I recovered somewhat, but never entirely. Life’s cruelty beat me up despite looking externally beautiful and functional. My sense of play and joy was still there, but required me to dig to find it.

    When, at age 36, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was re-created. I wanted to live. Really Live. Go For It. And I did.

    Now I am 61 and I must re-create myself into a more relaxed work life. Next week I will initiate conversations with each of the great colleagues who work along side me. They must step up. I am stepping back a bit.

    Whoopeeeeee.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. We have a good friend who is a synchronized swimmer. I really wish that had been available when I was a child. All the loveliness of dsnce without the impact on the twisty knees.

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      1. i ought to talk to my daughter who was a big time syncro swimmer about starting up one for people like all of us who would like grace without jarring the joints. ill bet she would get a kick out of thinking about how or if to do it.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. You still can, Linda! I never danced a day until I turned 60. I’ve come to really believe that there’s a dancer within all of us – it’s just a matter of letting her out! It doesn’t matter if it’s clumsy or uncoordinated because however your inner dancer appears, it’s uniquely YOU

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Retired in November, recharging since. Some of it a return to earlier times as a hobby farmer, some of it trying to find ground under my feet and sense of purpose in the present. A sabbatical that doesn’t end.

    I like the idea of resting (the land, one’s self) every seven years. I once read that our cells are replaced every seven years. Time for everything to rest…and I have being doing a lot of that since November.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Recreating myself was easy peasy. When I moved out of my little pink bungalow I packed up all my worst habits in a cardboard box. Actually, BiR and Linda helped. We stuck them in the box, taped it tightly and labeled it “Steve’s most awful tendencies.” I put that box in the basement next to the box of Christmas ornaments. And here comes the clever part: when I left my home, fleeing in a flurry of packing during a thunderstorm, I left that box behind.

    Liked by 7 people

  6. Hoping to get on with re-creating myself as more of an urban homesteader.

    Step one of reclaiming my own work s hedule is accomplished, still working on slogging through the backlog of work for pay, but I see progress– not doing as well re-establishing normal sleep and ridding myself of the constant worry that I should be doing something more/other than what I am already doing.

    This weekend we go to Iowa, which tends to be a regression. I did not like being a heavily controlled 14-year-old then, I really don’t like it now.

    Happily, the s&h is registered for a 5k while we are there. He is looking forward to finding out for sure if he is faster than he was last October :).

    Liked by 4 people

  7. How I would re-create myself now is to give myself permission to say no more often. The thing about being retired is: it feels like I must have infinite time, so I fill it up till I’m as busy as when I was working. I have just joined the board of directors at Tapestry, my folk dance haven. I know from experience this means I should let go of something else, to make room in my life for it, but what? Will work on that.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. instead of trying to undo all the foibles how about just coming out of the box the way you want to be.
    a new day a new world a new me. ready to go go go
    bye

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  9. Oops #1: did not know this would be up today. I am a little ahead of my one per week promise. Not trying to dominate; I promise.

    Oops #2: the post wrote itself a week ago and the cartoons came to mind quickly. Could not find a title. Yesterday rushed it to Dale because time-loss and stress are high. At last minute changed the title from something about “The Oracle on something”, meaning Dale of course, to “The Oracle Has Left the Building”. But left the “On” in place. Grrr.

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  10. Thank you for this Clyde. Yep, A period of rest does everything good…

    I am really enjoying this summer. More than other summers it seems. And I’ve been pondering why that is. And I think part of it is the last two springs have been so wet that getting crops planted went well into June. And then I just felt behind all summer. And stressed.
    This year crops were done in May, our son Graduated and got married (and we got another daughter) and everything just seems to be clicking along.

    Re-creating myself: better knees and feet first off.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I’d recreate a little girl who felt loved and nourished, then proceed through the next six decades feeling lovable instead of needing it from others. I’d listen more and talk less. I’d partner with someone with whom I could grow old and not notice the wrinkles and aging. His or mine. I’d publish a couple of books. I’d have six kids instead of three. I’d be 5’5′ instead of 5′. I’d feel steadily better about the direction of my life instead of worse. I’d go to bed by 11, get up by 6, and have too many rewarding things to do than could fit into a whole day. I’d have decent neighbors.

    Geesh! My list is a real downer! Think I’ll now write a list of what I am proud of and cherish about the person I’ve become.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i agree, we all see or faults and want to fix them. i think it would be equally as beneficial tofind the things we like and see how to draw them out more. its easy

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  12. I would re-create a bolder self, one who didn’t second guess the scary decisions. A bolder self might be teaching scenic design at a college somewhere or living in a foreign country or maybe would have taken on the tough nut of true equal education for the kids who don’t always have food or a safe roof over their head. I am content with the less bold me and where my life has taken me, but I do with that I had felt a little more bold earlier on.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. It’s the Middle Road I Regret

    Regrets do come with advancing age,
    You often wish you could turn back the page,
    To the time when you had to choose,
    Not that this life you would willing lose.

    But how many branches in my way
    Were very obvious on that day?
    How many were subtle and small,
    And I did not see them clearly, if at all.

    Frost says that some time in the past
    He chose one way, the die was cast.
    But I think the big choices are often three,
    That has been all the difference to ME.

    For I chose the middle road, the safe one,
    Not that I regret much of what I have done.
    But what if my choices had been bolder,
    If I had chosen more of life to shoulder.

    If I had been more saint or sinner,
    If I had eaten more or less at dinner,
    Meaning not the meal to feed the beast,
    But life’s big banquet, God’s great feast.

    If I chose to be really rich or intentionally poor,
    And not fight the bills falling at my door.
    That is the one I wonder about the most,
    Would I have had more time to serve the Host?

    Too often my life has been driven by others,
    This is another of my larger drothers.
    To left or right might have been better,
    Than to take the way of the middle-class debter.

    When I chose to teach I wrote in sand.
    What finally results is not of my hand.
    My students will succeed or they will fail,
    Who knows what part I played in their tale.

    On any branch there would have been strife,
    Only would THINGS claimed so much of my time,
    If I had lived by reason and rhyme,
    Not by hearing the modern American chime?

    But I got to here with children and wife,
    That has been the best of this life.
    God, they say, will take me to rest,
    He may tell me this was mostly a jest.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. The Road Not Taken
      By Robert Frost

      Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
      And sorry I could not travel both
      And be one traveler, long I stood
      And looked down one as far as I could
      To where it bent in the undergrowth;

      Then took the other, as just as fair,
      And having perhaps the better claim,
      Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
      Though as for that the passing there
      Had worn them really about the same,

      And both that morning equally lay
      In leaves no step had trodden black.
      Oh, I kept the first for another day!
      Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
      I doubted if I should ever come back.

      I shall be telling this with a sigh
      Somewhere ages and ages hence:
      Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
      I took the one less traveled by,
      And that has made all the difference.

      Liked by 3 people

  14. Ok, not that we ever “follow the leader” exactly, but I for one am reading this as re-creating going forward, not fixing the past (and that’s probably the harder question).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fixing the past is a pretty hopeless task. As Maya Angelou once said “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”

      No point in beating myself up over mistakes I’ve made in the past. Focusing on doing better in the future makes a lot more sense.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Yes, what would life be like now if I had lived in Paris as I once thought I wanted. Yes, to be bolder and braver. I would like that.

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  16. Very nice Clyde… sorry I missed everything yesterday. Spent the day helping the Young Adult settle in after she had her wisdom teeth out.

    Like

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