Leave to Serve

leave to serve

I really like my job.

I work as a Speech Language Pathologist in the field of education and disability.  I love helping kids communicate, work with teachers, play with technology and solve problems. I love serving God by putting my heart into what is in front of me at work.

But last year I glanced at the bottom of my pay slip and noticed the huge amount of leave I had accrued over the last 25 years.  I began to wonder – how could I use this?

Our family decided I would take term 2 off in 2018.

And I asked at church if there was an eight week project I could help with, something with a completion date.  I wanted to see a little bit of the behind the scenes at church, and understand more about the rhythms and the daily work each week. I worked out I could probably do about 2-3 school days a week at church (as well as doing a minor renovation, investing in some friends/family/hospitality time, a quick overseas trip to the Solomon Islands, breaking the laundry cycle and napping).

I was given a task of organising/finding/editing all the kids spot scripts from the last seven years, and making a training video and ministry paper about kids spots for Church2church.  I began to spend more time coming into the church office and participating in the prayer and discussions.  Watching the staff talk and wrestle through a planning week for a series.  Listening to the heart for others and the warmth of God.  I have been so blessed to spend time in an environment focused on showing Christ’s heart.  I thought I would be helping out, but I was getting the space and chance in my life to reflect on God’s word and spend time with his people.  It has been a joy.

I finished my task after a few weeks.  It was satisfying to do something out of my regular workload as a speech pathologist.  I have learnt new skills taught to me patiently by others (video editing anyone?).  I hope my small stitches will contribute to the bigger tapestry of work of the gospel.

I thank God I have had the opportunity to have leave to serve.

I will go back to my regular work refreshed and with a deeper understanding of God’s work at church.  And I will continue to do God’s work in my job, with whatever is in front of me.

‘Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another through psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude on your hearts.  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.’ Colossians 3:16-17

*Catriona Pine took 8 weeks long service leave from Education Queensland in Term 2 2018.