I would like to apologize to my reader for not having written for a while (sorry Mom) having a new kid at home I decided to take a break from the blog and should have told you, but now having some footing for what life is like with a baby, I intend to start back writing.
With that said…
So when God creates the world he starts off by dividing the night from the day, the dry land from the water, the firmament from the sky (whatever that means). Before he ever gets into the dicey business of making monkeys and pomegranates he divides and orders the basic elements setting limits on how far they can go.
Rabbi’s said that God divided the light from the darkness and it has been mankind’s job to do that ever since. Maybe they are on to something. The basic idea in Genesis one is not a scientific treatise on exactly what went down, I believe it is much more. God is calling the world out of chaos and into order.
And he does this by setting limits.
The book of Job describes this a bit more clearly where God is sort of having a God-off with Job, reminding him of his place in creation. God says to Job:
Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb,
when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness,
when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place,
when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’?
In other words, God is describing the limits he set on Creation as a way of reminding Job who he is not. Job is challenging the way God runs the universe, and God is letting Job know that there is a bit more going on than he thought. And he cites as evidence of his power, his ability to set limits.
For the last decade or so, the structure of how we live in a modern world has changed drastically. It started with pagers, suddenly people could get ahold of us even when we were away. Then it went to cell phones, the internet, email, and PDA’s. It is no impossible to fully unplug. Everyone became on-call, and to not be so was rude. Globalization kicks in and suddenly we are just a call or message away from the other side of the world. And even if you aren’t wanting to be located, you will be found by Google.
6 Billion people can now get in touch with you.
For the last few months I have been going through a pretty tough time. I have had a low-grade anger boiling just beneath the surface, I have had little to no joy in my job, things that used to fun were just becoming tasks. My family, my work and just me as a human being has suffered. And for the past two weeks I have been trying to figure out what was wrong.
It’s easy to blame others, to say it was because of difficult people in my life, but the truth is the problem is me. More blatantly, the problem is that I don’t know where I end and where others begin. I don’t know what I can and cannot do, I did not know my limits.
On the average day I come home after work, to work. Even if I don’t need to. I check and send emails night and day, and answer my cell phone all hours of the night. And I was beginning to resent everyone, especially myself. I found that I was never fully present anywhere. Even when I was trying to help people, I couldn’t really help one because I was feeling pulled in so many other directions.
I wanted to quit several times over the past month, even though I loved my job, I thought it was my job that was killing me. But I recently realized it was me that was killing me. I have always been bad about knowing what my limits are, but I am not in the same season in life that I was a few years ago, I can’t do everything I once did, nor should I. I am learning how to embrace the gift of limits. God didn’t make me to be available 24-7. And he didn’t make you for that either. So Leslie and I have decided to do something drastic. We are no longer answering our cell-phones or checking email after 7 p.m.
We are unplugging.
We hope that this will make our ministry better, that this will make our family time better, and that we can work well when we are working, and rest well when resting.
This is not just a therapeutic post or a resolution blog. I am guessing that if you have the technological capacity to be reading this right now, you may have the same struggle that I do. You weren’t meant to available for everyone at all times, God didn’t make us with limitless resources.
And that is a gift.
You can sleep well knowing that you are inadequate for many things.
We can do what we can do, and do it well, and let someone else do the rest.
Maybe God’s word to Job is still a word to us. You are not God. The limits are already set.
It’s time to embrace them.