Today, I am halfway through my “social media sabbatical” that I began at the end of June. This sabbatical consists of not tweeting on Twitter; or posting or responding to messages on Facebook. (I admit to logging on to Facebook for a couple of e-mail address cross checks.)
It has not been as hard as I thought it would be.
I got the idea from another ‘tweep’ and given the state of my soul and schedule four weeks ago, I though that it would be a good idea. It has been.
What have I done on my sabbatical? Well I have had some fun. For example, I went to Kings’ Island Amusement park outside of Cincinnati and had a blast. I rode the new coaster, Diamondback, 4 times! It had a great deal of airtime, especially on the top of the hills.
The Beast seemed slower for some reason this year. Well, it’s only 65 MPH compared to the Diamonback’s 82 MPH. Then there is The Racer; still a classic to ride and enjoy. I think that I had 13 or so circuits under my belt of about 4 or 5 coasters this year. I cannot wait until Cedar Point! (And there still is Kingda Ka out in New Jersey! My oldest and I are trying to figure out how to get out there!)
I helped wash my mother’s mobile home. I say ‘helped,’ because my wife did most of the scrubbing! I also reconnected with some cousins that I have not seen in several years.
As noted in a previous post, Picking Green Beans and Counting People, (http://jimkane.wordpress.com/2009/07/13/picking-beans-and-counting-people/) I have done some important community service that has taught me a great deal.
I have also read:
The late A.W.Tozer’s book, The Pursuit of God. A 6-decade-old classic that still has much to teach us about the true pursuit of God.
I re-read Keith Miller’s book The Secret Life of the Soul that again reminded me programs and slogans cannot help us do the deep soul work that only a willingness to surrender to God and allow our wall of denial to break down can do.
Julia Duin’s book Quitting Church has also given me much to think about as well. (See my review elsewhere on this blog.)
John Ortberg’s If You Want to Walk On Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat, spoke to me on many levels about faith and fear and becoming fearless for the Lord once again. Then Gary Thomas’ Spiritual Pathways, a great book about how we best experience God, was a cool drink of water for me. As I read it, I was again reminded that I am a traditionalist when it comes to one of my sacred paths and that I thrive on liturgy. (Hum, I wonder what the implications are for future ministry?) I have started to utilize his included example for a “habit” of prayer.
But what has been most important has been the experience of being renewed in my soul and drawing closer to God. I was losing my ‘hearing’ with all the ‘tweeting’ and ‘friending.’ My wife noticed this and I needed to address this. I have also reconnected with my wife through evening walks and time on the patio talking about many different things that we have needed to talk about.
I am not sure that I am going to continue to personally tweet when August 1st arrives. I am seeing Twitter more and more as a PR and marketing tool (and that is okay) but how can one have a meaningful conversation in 140 characters or less? I think in complete sentences and paragraphs. But I have valued several ‘tweeps’ who have become friends beyond 140 characters and shared some good things with me.
Facebook will stay with me. I am reconnecting with family and some high school friends as well as childhood friends and that is important to me.
But, this sabbatical has been much more beneficial that I imagined. And my e-mail box is more manageable as well.