I have officially reached the end. Today marks the end of a 13-day hiatus from all “urgent obligation” not called by the last name Murch. Thirteen days ago I went underground to spend some much overdue and much needed time away. The purpose: recharge the batteries, refocus the soul, and refresh the three most important people in my life: my wife Carissa and my girls Olivia Joy and Sophia Hope. It has been a good vacation.
I’m tempted to apologize for my blogging silence, but it was purposeful. The time away from the office was also a time away from “producing.” I’m a producer. Producing content (sermons, blogs, teaching materials, leadership lectures, etc.) gets my adrenaline pumping. The last 13 days I have been extremely tempted to open up the laptop and start writing on something, anything, just to feed my insatiable appetite to produce.
But I made it. I made it 13 days without producing anything. I don’t think I’ve gone that long without writing since sometime in 1998.
What did I do?
I spent hours and hours of uninterrupted time with my wife and girls. After a few days in the city to celebrate our anniversary (kid-free), Carissa and I spent the rest of our time at home with the girls. This included miles of walks, trips to the zoo, hours of pushing two toddlers on swings, “swimming” in a kitty-pool and running through the sprinklers, playing with play-do, braiding hair, watching Disney movies, and all sorts of other things that 2 and 3 year old girls like to do.
It was cool. It was refreshing. It was needed.
Sure, at times I felt “unplugged.” Ideas would swirl through my mind for a blog, a sermon series, a book, team management, church vision, or a leadership training; but I would jot it down promptly and unplug my mind again as quickly as possible. There were moments when I felt like I was losing ground. As a habitual achiever, when you don’t “achieve” something in terms of the pace at which you normally “produce,” you can feel lost.
But it was necessary. I had to unplug so that I could truly engage. Truly engage in rest, truly engage in quality time, and truly engage in the art of being habitually occupied with the needs of my family alone. It is necessary to unplug in order to engage. It doesn’t
have to be 13 consecutive days. That was necessary for me and mine right now because of all the transition in our lives in recent months. But unplugging and engaging is the only way to build and maintain a strong foundation in a marriage and family. Again, the duration of time isn’t the most important factor. It could be 2 days, 2 hours, or 25 minutes.
I planned on sitting down here and writing a visionary blog about all the incredible things I know God is leading us to in the next 9 months at LifePoint Church. But that blog can wait. I think the theme that has emerged here is enough to chew on for one blog: unplug and engage. This may apply to your relationship with God, your spouse, your kids, your parents, or others God has put in your path. Let the Holy Spirit lead you. Unplug and engage: make it a discipline, a habit, a constant theme that marks your life.
And get ready for a great year at LifePoint Church!