Writing helps me work things through but since starting my sabbatical I am plagued with questions about the etiquette of sabbaticals! Am I supposed to come off social media? am I supposed to go and hide in a cave? Am I supposed to wear sackcloth?
I have quickly realised there is no etiquette. It’s time for me and God to do some chatting and for me to take some time out of my too busy life to listen to him. Jesus has been my best friend for nearly 28 years and I like spending time with him, so actually taking a sabbatical is a joy rather than a trial.
I began with a social media fast, I lasted 1 week and discovered that I did spend a lot of time checking my Facebook and twitter accounts! It did feel terrible the first couple of days, but it helped that I’d gone away with my lovely hubby and left all my devices at home! It’s teaching me that I need to have more wisdom in who I listen to and where I seek wisdom from. It’s easy to turn on Facebook and ask a question that I should really be asking God. Coming back, I’ve taken the apps off my phone so it isn’t constantly available and am going to plan regular breaks from social media. And by that, I mean, actually put them in my diary so that it happens!
I have quickly been reminded in my prayer times of two important truths:
- Those who seek God will find him – It has been wonderful to feel his presence with me again. I know he is there all the time but being so busy and distracted meant that I had lost that feeling. I’ve begun to hear his voice in the Bible and in my prayers once again and it is like a wonderful reunion. I’m glad God has patience with me. I’ve also met some new people that are so on my wavelength with the disability ministry work and am very excited that they might join a growing team of people in our area. It sounded like they are seeking God for the same things and that God brought us together. That makes my heart sing.
- Those who seek God will be attacked by the devil – Already this week three things happened that threatened to open up past wounds and put me in danger of being the object of someones anger. We should not be surprised and I was quickly reminded in my Bible reading that we have the armour of God in Ephesians 6. When my kids were young, we actually made the armour pieces with them in Sunday School and it was the best visual activity for learning the Bible we’ve ever done. I still mentally see all those pieces as I cover myself with his protection. I was also reminded that Jesus is interceding for the world (as the picture above tries to depict). The battle belongs to the Lord. It’s going to be important that I get into my Bible and study the word of God, the sword of the Spirit, as I go through these next few months.
So, I am going to blog occasionally, about my sabbatical, and hope that you might join me in putting time aside to just ‘be’ with our Lord Jesus. I’m sure there’s going to be lots I will not share but plenty that I will. My prayer is that we come together in unity, as Paul prayed.
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”