It is also day 1 of my Bible reading plan on “Addicted To Busy: Recovery For The Rushed Soul” and the title is “Impression Management”. How apt.
“For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the of pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world.” ~1 John 2: 16 (NIV)
For my friends who know me well, I have declared November as my ‘Social Sabbatical’. Some of my friends raise their eyebrows in disbelief, some with concern (as if I’ve gone crazy!), some perplexed, some in mockery and a rare few who have supported and encouraged me with no judgement. It’s a funny exercise as I understand more about myself and of those truly understand me. It’s not a judgement of my friends but an assessment of a phenomenon. Either ways I am thankful to all my friends, laughing or empathising.
So, why this ‘Social Sabbatical’?
- Firstly, God knows I need rest and honour this temple [body] that God blesses me with. I talk about this a lot in my HoYo classes but frankly, I don’t practise it enough.
- Secondly, as any mum would know, life as a mother of two just gets more demanding with real responsibilities that is beyond just pleasing myself.
- Thirdly, the closer I have become to the Word, the more I have realised that I need to invest into living it out. And that includes carving time out for it. To read the Bible and spend time with the Lord. Simple as that.
- I wanted to experiment what it would be like to be able to have time to and for myself and if anything disastrous was going to happen if I didn’t fill up my calendar from 8am -8pm.
- Lastly, I wanted to ‘prepare my heart for Christmas’; to create mindspace to soak in, muse over and digest the importance of the birthday of our Saviour.
I am now almost two thirds into my Social Sabbatical. What have I learnt?
- Not all friends appreciate it, nor understand it. That’s ok..I had to push past people’s judgement and learnt to accept that I am here to please God, not man.
- For someone so extroverted as I am, it’s almost impossible to have a true “Social Sabbatical”. Realistically, just keeping my weekdays free is a good start! Don’t be too ambitious.
- I am a self-diagnosed sufferer of “Impression Management.” I’ve realised that I have a tendency and habit of making myself busy for the sake of making life appear productive, both to myself and to the world. If I have to be true to myself, it is Impression Management. Surely, if my schedule is packed from 8am – 8pm, I’m going to start to sound like Sheryl Sandberg, right? ….Right?? .. How I measure my self worth hasn’t really been rooted in Christ. I have been conforming with the worldly views of modern feminism. It is a confronting issue for me but I am facing it, even as I type now. I don’t know how I can resolve this issue immediately but I know that this Sabbatical is a good start.
- Indeed, no one dies and nothing disastrous happens when I don’t fill up my calendar with a ‘To-do’ in every single minute. In fact, the more I surrender and let God guide my daily tasks, the more effective I become with prioritisation of key tasks.
- The Word stays True to itself. Indeed, the more I invest into it, the more peace and joy I get. Nothing has been more rewarding than taking the time to meditate, slow down, and focus on Jesus. When you invest time in a relationship, the relationship flourishes. It’s funny how God has made us this way and we totally get it when it comes to human relationships yet it’s a hard concept to understand when it comes to a relationship with our King. Funny, huh?
So far, I can say that the re-investment of finding time to ‘breathe’ and ‘being still’ have been the most rewarding. I hear God. I feel the Holy Spirit. I enjoy my prayer time.
“Rather, it should be that of the inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” ~1 Peter 3:4 (NIV)
Today, I will start letting go of my addiction to ‘Impression Management‘. I need to stop being a slave to ‘busyness’. It’s ok if I’m a ‘free’ person. Indeed, I am free in Christ. Now THIS is truly preparing my heart for advent.