An Exercise in Self-Control

snoopyAfter my semester of chaos I was ready for a break. My plan was to take January off.

No working on my final thesis proposal.

Lots of time to read for fun.

Even some time to play a bit of World of Warcraft (which I actually found to be very, sovaldi very boring. How weird is that?)

Other than my internship, I didn’t do a lick of school work. While it wasn’t in the original plan, even my blogging took a bit of a sabbatical. A few “hot topics” were buzzing in the blogosphere, and I didn’t blog about them even though I had ideas for posts.

Nope. I rested.

And yet, about halfway through my sabbatical, I was tempted more than once to pick up my thesis proposal.

I have ideas! I am refreshed! I should start this!

No Amanda, you said you were taking the month off, I would tell myself, as I put the thesis notes back on the shelf.

I made it through the sabbatical and kept the original boundaries the entire time and for a student-aholic that is a huge exercise in self-control.

I’m glad that I didn’t pick up my thesis proposal early. I enjoyed the quiet. And now that the quiet is over, I know that the next year will be anything but quiet. Between my internship, thesi,s and life in general, this year will be busy-busy. But when things get chaotic I can look back at my sabbatical and remember how restful it was, and that whether I’m in a season of busyness or rest I have so much to be thankful for.

It helped that I wrote a paper last semester on the theology of rest. It allowed me to think through why we rest, and because of that, I was able to enjoy my rest deeply. On Valentines’ Day I will be giving a lecture in a college class on the practice of rest. I hope to share with them this idea: Rest can and should be seen sacramentally – we rest not primarily because we are commanded to rest, or because it is good for us; instead we rest because God rested first and he invites us to join with Him in the rest that only He can offer.

There’s lots of exciting stuff coming up on the blog this month: stay tuned for a post on theological reflections on the move towards MOOCs in online education, a review of a book by NT Wright, some thoughts on the difference between guilt and shame, and a essay on Paul’s embrace of OT Law for the Church regarding sexual ethics.