Last week I decided to take a sabbatical from the internet, especially facebook and other very distracting websites. I also restricted myself from movies, the x-box, writing, junk food and money. My mind was far too jumbled up and I couldn't get things straight, I was moody and unpleasant and I didn't like my attitude a lot of the time. Some of you may not have noticed as much as others, but you can take my word for it. Even if I wasn't showing it, I know when my attitude needs tweaking, and it really really needed it.
I had ordered a really great all-in-one computer and wasn't expecting it until the end of June, so I gave myself two weeks to refresh my mind. I cut myself off from all outside influences (save my friends and family), I started meditating on God's word, praying more and listening to Godly music. In short, it's been an interesting past week.
I can't say that I completed all of my goals for the first week, but I can say that God's taught me a lot about patience, trusting in Him completely and setting my affections on above and not on things on the Earth (as Colossians 3:2 says).
I did have trouble directing my thoughts away from that of the world, money problems, computer anxieties, etc. . . I forced myself to not think about my computer until I got it. That was yesterday. . .and the computer arrived yesterday morning! Right in the middle of my sabbatical!! How inconvenient. I have fifteen days to test it out and decide if I want to keep it or not (I'm leaning more towards keeping it) so I'm like, "I've got to test it out as much as possible to really be sure I want this thing!" And, if you know me, you know how terrible I am at making choices.
But, at the same time, I have to balance testing out my computer while continuing on with my sabbatical! I'm allowed to get on the computer, but Facebook and the problematic websites are out of it (news websites and movie websites, basically, I get way too into politics!).
Which is why I'm writing this blog, I always figured I might write about this and didn't restrict myself from blogging.
This sabbatical was called, "Finding Andrea." I'm not sure if I found myself quite yet, but I'm aware that, in order to find one's self, you've first got to die to yourself. When you die to your selfishness, your wants, your needs, and make Christ your desire, that's when you'll find your true self. Sadly, sometimes I'm not always doing this. But I'm so thankful for God showing me all these lessons this past week, and I look forward to continuing in them as I go.
A lot of this journey has been personal but I'll share with you my creed, it went like this:
I will surround myself with pure, holy things.
I will fill my mind with the word of God.
I will confess my confidence in Christ.
I will search the scriptures and their meanings.
I will act only in love towards those around me.
I will keep my body in physical wellness.
I will purify my mind, I will not concern myself with the troubles of the world.
I will pray. I will bring all things before God.
I will rejoice.
I will keep chores done and do so without grumbling.
I will work unto the Lord.
I will work on communicating.
I will meditate.
I will die to myself.
I will work to please Christ.
In so doing, I will find myself.
To some, it may seem as thought I'm being all extreme and turning into a nun.
Others, might think this is all every-day choices they already make (and that's good! And I commend you).
And, well, to others you probably think that it sounds like a Jedi recitation..
Anyway, that was my little list of inspirational goals. Like I said, I didn't complete them all, all the time. But they were great guidelines to get me started. I was tested during this week but I had good old Best Friend there to say, "hey, snap out of it, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!"
I realized that I can't expect myself to get it all just off the bat, but that practice makes perfect. God is with me this whole time, and through the rest of my life, helping me get it right.
We truly can do all things through Christ.
And we can do nothing apart from Him.
I knew a lot of these things, and I'm not saying I became a dirty, rotten sinner and backslide into sliminess, I just wasn't happy with who I was in Christ and as myself. That's why I did this, to clear my mind, center myself and make sure my priorities are straight, dead-center on Jesus Christ our Lord.
So, now you know of Andrea's secret sabbatical. I look forward to the next week, to pushing through to the end and coming out with a lot of lessons learned. Not only to next week, but the rest of my life! I intend to carry this new attitude throughout the years, and IF I find myself becoming flavorless, I will direct my attention back to it. It's just so easy to become distracted in this world, in this life, with petty, meaningless things. It takes the light off of what's truly important: Christ. Winning souls for God. Being fishers of men. That requires us to be selfless. These needless distractions are anything but.
And, though I didn't walk through the past week upholding all my goals, I still gleaned a lot from it. And I find myself refreshed, having been unplugged from the world for a while (and might even do it more often, or make some permanent changes).
So, my question for you: Are you in a place where God wants you? Are you happy with your walk in Christ? Are you finding yourself being much too distracted with the world? If so, I implore you to take some time to get your priorities straight. Because, it'll be just a moment, just a twinkling of an eye and, just like that, it'll all be over.
-Sister Monk Jedi Master Andrea