One of the most difficult pieces thus far on sabbatical has been turning my phone off. Since June 1 I haven’t been checking my emails, my phone has been off from texting and calls, and I haven’t been on any form of social media except for this blog.
First off this isn’t an act of being pretentious. I love using my phone and social media and find it quite useful in my life, I am not trying to do something in order to impress anyone or lord it over anyone.
The reasons why I find this so important to do for these 3 months are as follows:
- I need to try and be intentional about hearing God’s voice. My email and phone often hinder this objective.
- My email and phone are very closely connected to my work, therefore taking a 3-month sabbatical but still taking time to check in isn’t much good. It would be like me swinging by the office a few times a week.
- I find these tools often take more of my time than I would like to admit. A 3-month break might help curve some of that.
- I find some of these things actually bring anxiety into my life, this is certainly something I do not need during a sabbatical.
I find this very difficult because I am such a social person. It’s very strange to be somewhere and not be able to look up directions or call someone when I need to. I think some people have found this to be very annoying and difficult because they are used to connecting with me at any time and I often respond.
I struggle with being a people pleaser and it has been an early lesson in this sabbatical that I have set up my pastoral ministry in the last 7 years to be at everyone’s beck and call. I have created my own monster by allowing such easy access and quick solutions for people that now that I am away people are finding it tricky and I am struggling with the guilt of letting people down.
This has been a valuable lesson that I look forward to shaping when I head back in September. I can’t please everyone, nor should I. Not having email or a phone has helped with this.
So my friends if you have been trying to reach me keep trying but you won’t hear back until September…maybe.