It has been a while hasn’t it? About a month and a half. Much longer than I thought I was going to take. So— if my writing slurs together or starts getting confusing, I may need some grace.
Why the Sabbatical Mitchell?
I took a break a while back because I found that I was putting expectations on myself that were unrealistic, not on these blogs but with everything else. This meant that I had to say no to a habit that I had gotten myself into and that was this. It also meant saying no to many other things which was not fun. However, I was only meaning to take about three weeks off, not six or seven. Restructuring and restarting habits are quite difficult as I have found.
Additionally, my heart was just not in the right place after my last blog and it confused me more than I thought it was going to. This led to me taking some much needed God time among other things (I will get to this in a bit).
What were you up to?
Over the past few months I was quite invested in Sing Song here at ACU as a director, which ended up being the best time regardless of the outcome. Along with this I have been working in the ACU Chapel office investing much of my time there to improve the spiritual life and health of the campus (this has included daily chapels, planning, emails, planning, contact work, and planning). I also recently went to California to visit my girlfriend Rebecca for a week.
On top of all these awesome things I took two days away from life. This looked like me taking a tent to a State Park, leaving my phone and all possible forms of communication and connection to normal life at home, and taking food, my bible, paper, and a few other things. This ended up being something I should have done a long time ago.
I took this trip as a personal Sabbath, drawing inspiration from all the times Jesus took time away and went off to quiet places. During this time I ended up hiking for miles (usually I exaggerate, this time I am not) until I got to a spot where I felt like I needed to be after a few hours.
Now— there was no Transfiguration or anything like that when I was there. But there was the simple moment in silence where God’s presence was enough to realize what I have been ignorant of. During this revelation I was reminded of these words of truth:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”John 1:1-5, ESV
The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not and will not ever overcome it. And as I am sitting on the ground I have realized that I have been sitting down with a candle knowing that there is light. When instead I should have a bonfire believing that it is seen from everywhere.
I have been absent.
I’m sure there are many of us that feel the same way today with the ever growing COVID-19 and all the fear and panic that has come with it. The absence of God, positivity, and the social gathering of the church. Absence of something that we have taken for granted for most of our lives is now suddenly only accessible through a screen and yet even that feels ever so distant.
I can’t be the only one thinking that the state of our world has shown just how toxic social media and technology has become when left unchecked. (Of course there are so many incredible uses of technology, it is good that we get to continue to connect with others). I mean, I’m sure if I asked you how many movies or shows you have watched in the last week, or how many hours you have spent on social media you would probably say less than what you would prefer to say.
Every post and comment we see and hear is talking about how to stay productive, create, read, or do something other than just sit on your phone all day. The next best thing for this is accountability. Not going to lie, I may have watched close to 10 movies this week (if you read what I said earlier, you know I am lying and that it is probably more than that). Oops, not the best way to spend my time— time for some accountability.
For those of us who do find ourselves in these patterns of continuing down this rabbit hole of instantaneous gratification it is easy to feel absent from everything else. That is the toxicity of technology at its worst. Time to build in these new habits of presence.
What to expect from me now?
I am planning on being back to this pattern of reflecting and “blogging” every Monday now. During these next couple weeks it should be fairly easy to find these pockets of time to step away from life (I wonder why) in order to take the time I want to write these. I am also hoping to read and listen to newer things over the next few weeks.
Although we are in a different time now. Our God is still the same, the Holy Spirit is still in us, and Jesus is alive.
May the everlasting peace that comes from the Father be with you.