Sabbatical Life part 1

tweetable-smarty-giff-2One 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:

  1. I need to try and be intentional about hearing God’s voice. My email and phone often hinder this objective.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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