A successful government employee leaves his job to find renewed interest in both life and faith.
Winters had just taken a new job at an intimidating but unnamed, three-letter government agency when embarrassing pains landed him in the hospital and ended with a diabetes diagnosis. The stress of his new position, a feeling of malaise within his aging church, and a medical mandate to get healthier gave him the idea to take a break from his current life well beyond the usual vacation. Soon a spiritual encounter at a prayer circle confirmed that what he needed was a true sabbatical. Winters’ debut book becomes a Christian-focused how-to for readers wanting their own versions of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love–style break from everyday tensions. Winters never left the country nor found the love of his life on a beach, but he did meticulously chronicle the difficulties and necessary strategies for maintaining income, improving friendships, and getting his health under control while on a six-month break from the workforce. With specific spiritual questions like “What barriers had kept me from being who I should be?” and “How could I live a resurrected life?” Winters dedicated his days to praying, reflecting, and reading numerous books, including the works of preacher Jentezen Franklin. He slowly overcame the crippling anxiety that began with his new job and started the long road to a healthier lifestyle, documenting his return to work with a new appreciation, having “discovered again that people were generally God’s coolest creation.” In his account, Winters tempers the heavier and more distressing stories of his medical issues and past tragedies with self-deprecating but warm humor that keeps a largely introspective story intriguing. Those wanting to escape their own daily grinds for an extended period of time should find useful, practical advice in his pages (for example, in an appendix he counsels: “Prepare to journal about how you feel and react to significant insights during the sabbatical. It is important to learn some lasting lessons”). But it is Christian readers who will likely connect most with his rekindled spirituality and lighthearted biblical jokes—“[his] favorite Scripture about finances was ‘Jesus wept’ ”—and take away the most from his refreshed vigor.
A helpful and funny book about the many benefits, spiritual and otherwise, that can come from escaping workplace stress.