In the late 1940’s, on a train from Illinois to Texas, a preacher named A. W. Tozer penned words burning in his heart. Throughout the night he wrote, and by the time he’d arrived at his destination the next day, the rough draft of a book was done. In it, he said the following:
Every age has its own characteristics. Right now we are in an age of religious complexity. The simplicity which is in Christ is rarely found among us. In its stead are programs, methods, organizations, and a world of nervous activities which occupy time and attention but can never satisfy the longing of the heart. The shallowness of our inner experience, the hollowness of our worship and that servile imitation of the world which marks our promotional methods all testify that we, in this day, know God only imperfectly, and the peace of God scarcely at all. —A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
And here we are more than 65 years later, and Tozer’s words couldn’t ring more true.
For that reason, because of the conviction of the shallowness of my own heart, I am taking a self-imposed sabbatical. For years I’ve watched the rare person take a spiritual step away from their ordinary life with a mix of both longing and envy.
Oh, how I wish! I wish I could take a month away. Away from the to-do list, away from the frantic day-to-day scramble to get it all done, away from the constant, merciless pressure to do all, be all. If only …
Then again, who says I can’t?
I get to choose (as do you). The past years of working day and night to write, to speak and coach and grow a career were something I chose—choose—to do. I enjoy it, oh how I enjoy it! But I can also un-choose it. For a time. To disconnect for the sake of connection. With my God, my family, and my own heart.
For that reason, I’m shutting it all down. The blog. The social media posts. The phone calls and meetings and emails. Other than a few prescheduled posts and commitments, I’m blocking my calendar for the next four weeks. I will not be checking blog comments. I will not be perusing social media. Every temptation can be deleted from my phone and laptop easily enough.
Instead, I’m going to rest. To read and think and pray and write. And I’m going to allow creativity and wisdom and the God of both full access to my focused attention.
You’ve likely heard me say this before: I’m not the same person I was before 2014. And part of this new me needs more space away from the noise and on my knees. And although there’s yet a part of me—the driven, Type-A, business-lover side of me—that’s afraid to disconnect and miss something important in the process, I’m far more afraid of what I might miss if I don’t.
I’ll be back (barring some burning bush revelation). And I hope—I pray—I’m a better woman, writer, friend because of it.
Have I mentioned how much I love you?