I’m not very good at turning off.
And sometimes that catches up with me.
Although I consider myself a pretty peaceful person, my mind is usually churning about one thing or another.
A client project I’m working on.
My own writing projects.
Work I need to do around the house or for my business.
Ministries I want to be part of.
Teaching I’d like to start.
People I’d like to spend more time with.
I’m making myself tired just writing all of that.
While being productive might be an admirable thing, not-being-good-at-turning-off isn’t something we should aspire to.
Instead, it can make us feel exhausted and overwhelmed, which can definitely deal a blow to that productivity we’re trying to embrace.
It can also keep us from tuning in.
From stepping away from the world to embrace introspection and more time alone with God.
Lately, I’ve been learning about allostatic load—which is basically about the cumulative stress we experience from a variety of sources throughout our lives.
As you’ve probably guessed, a high allostatic load isn’t good for us, and not-being-good-at-turning-off contributes to it.
So, along with the other disciplines I try to embrace in my life, I’m going to try to focus more on the discipline of turning off.
And then tuning in.
To try to step into a relaxing space on a more frequent and regular basis.
To use that time to focus on enjoying God’s presence and the guidance I can receive there.
If I embrace the discipline of turning off more regularly, maybe I’ll actually shut down my computer when I finally get up from my desk for the day.
Quit checking email one last time before I head to bed.
Savor the deliciousness of putzing and puttering a little more (my dad’s terms for doing little things you enjoy).
And finally give that stack of novels by my couch the attention they deserve.
The discipline of turning off is a powerful thing—which is why it’s so needed in our always-on world.
The discipline of tuning in even more so—since there God waits for us, ready and able to provide the nurturing that we need.
Within Off and In we can find the gifts of rest and renewal—so we’re more prepared to step into whatever’s next when it’s time to turn back on.