Many of you know my history. In 2001 I left a job I had been at for a number of years to take work with a small computer consultant (and whom still is a dear friend of mine). Well as the fall of 2001 progressed, we had the terror attacks of 9/11 and then the economy began to do a free fall and businesses took a huge hit. Needless to say, in the beginning of 2012, I was without a job. Long story short, that was when I stepped out on my own and began my own consulting practice and worked at that for almost 10 years. In 2011, I took a job with another small consulting firm in northeast Ohio and I’ve been happily employed there since.
During my time working for myself, I found it hard to separate work from home life. I worked out of my home primarily, so when I woke up in the morning, I was at work. When I went to bed at night, I was at work. When the weekend’s rolled around, I was still at work. I used to play a lot of video games, but I don’t much anymore because during those years, I felt guilty if I was on the computer and was not working.
I loved the time I spent working for myself. There are many things I miss about that time period. I grew a ton as a person and loved life. But I also learned how NOT to relax. I wrote a few Christmas’s ago, about how practice makes permanent and how I had trained myself for many, many years to not relax. At the time, I had only been in the new lifestyle for less than a year, so it was understandable that I may have not rewired my brain quite yet.
Well I sit here 3 years later and tell you, I may be have gotten a little better, but I still need a ton of work. I’m using up the last of my vacation during the holidays here and I should be using this time to relax and recharge my batteries. But I have fallen into my old habits of worrying about work, or the work I’m not doing because I’m on vacation.
Yesterday was a Sunday. I woke up wanting to go, go, go, but I really had nothing in mind. I just did not want to sit around. My wife on the other hand, knows how to relax. She was perfectly comfortable unwinding from the busy holiday and recharging…..me I was going batty.
Today, a Monday morning, I wake up as early as usual and feel the need to get to work, even though the rest of the house is still asleep. But the anxiousness of lost time and the need to get moving keeps me from just resting.
As I said in that post years ago, I need to continue to retrain my brain to learn to relax, but my version of relaxing may not be the same as others. My form of relaxing may not be sitting around on the weekend watching old movies. Since I already like to be active, perhaps I need to relax in an active and productive way. That doesn’t mean to keep working at my job never taking a vacation, but perhaps work at something else in my spare time.
Fitting in with my theme of a year of thanksgiving, perhaps it’s time to get moving in making that happen. Sitting back waiting for things to happen, doesn’t make them happen. I fully believe that we need to wait on God’s timing, but I don’t think that means to just sit doing nothing. God will move us to where he needs us, when he needs us, but I think he wants us moving. My “trying” to relax how I think relaxing means, is going against my nature, so by relaxing in that way, I’m actually stressing myself out even more.
So what’s my takeaway from all this? Honestly, I think it was revealed to me as I wrote this post, for when I started it, I was thinking in a completely different direction. But having reached this point in my post, I think I spend too much time thinking about what I need to be doing and not enough doing what I know needs done.
As I’ve discovered over this Christmas holiday, there are people out there living on the edge of society that need our help. Sure they may have made wrong decisions in their lives, perhaps they may have lied and cheated, perhaps they’ve done far worse. Perhaps they’ve turned away help in the past for one reason or another, but if now is the time that God is moving, shouldn’t we be moving also? If we see God moving, should we say to ourselves, “Well, perhaps God is moving there, but those people are unsavory and I don’t want to be around them.” Or when God moves through another person, should we say, ‘Well that’s great and all, but that person you’re using to do your work, I just don’t like much.’ Doesn’t that seem silly? But that is what happens often when God moves, he often uses insignificant people to do his work. When God moves, I want to be there right along side of Him and whomever else he may use. I don’t want to be caught sitting on the sidelines.
Old habits die hard they say, but what God has given us can be used for His glory. If my habit of not being able to to relax is this difficult to break, perhaps God is prompting me to get up and start working for him. Perhaps God isn’t ready for my old habits to die quite yet!