so with one week of work left and 16 weeks of sabbatical on the horizon, i’m realizing that an important skill that will be necessary for my time away i’m also completely unprepared for and haven’t thought much about…
unplugging • how to disconnect electronically and personally.
last night we had dinner with good friends, one of whom has taken a sabbatical and helped make mine a reality. as we were talking, he asked if he could help me with shutting down my email and phone so i could really “unplug” during my time away. all of a sudden i started getting a little anxious about not being in constant contact, knowing what’s going on and trying to always be in-the-know. that made me realize that oops, i really haven’t prepared myself and my habits for the importance of temporarily separating myself from harderwyk and from all of the electronic noise [email, texts, facebook, etc.] so that i can really focus, rest and renew. ultimately that’s the point of the sabbatical: rest and renewal that comes from being able to see and hear from God.
so, i’m gonna jump in and stretch myself by and cut the electronic tethers that are really such a waste of time and focus in my life. what does that look like?
- leave my iPad and laptop at home.
- use a throw away phone for communication.
- set up email to notify people not to expect hearing back from me until july.
- minimize my time with things like facebook and twitter while keeping off my laptop and iPad.
there you have it, not a perfect plan, but an intent to not be distracted, not be connected and use this amazing gift for the intent it was given.
i would also like to ask your help in a couple of ways. first, please help hold me accountable if you notice me not living up to this or if you see me on line or lurking around harderwyk. [except the community garden, which is part of my plan to unwind]. tell me to get off line, go away and keep focused. second, please be gracious with me when you don’t hear from me during this time and try to hold off on contacting me until i get back.
part of this is a trust issue as well. trust that God is more than able to take care of things without me, trust that i will find him in the silence and that i can be content with being unplugged. sometimes i think there is a level of comfort or distraction that comes in all the noise that i allow into my life. so now as i begin that silence, quiet and the break from the distraction, i have to trust that i’ll be up for the challenge of what i hear from God when i am taking the opportunity to listen and reflect.