3.09.2007

Unplug

For professional development purposes and for Kingdom purposes, I
believe it is important for urban Christians to be informed and to be
connected. Cities are complex, interwoven systems of people and
organizations, and urban Christians do themselves a disservice if they
are ignorant about how those systems work, disconnected from the
people who make those systems work.

I'm fortunate that in my day job, I do a lot of learning about
important urban issues, and rubbing elbows with important urban
people. But I find I have to make time outside of work to stay
informed and stay connected. So where possible, I read up on the
issues, or attend public events, or reach out to colleagues - ever
mining for information, ever seeking to bring this complex and
interwoven network called the city into clearer focus as to how it
works, how it should work, and how we can get there.

It can be easy, in an attempt to ever stay sharp in terms of knowledge
and networks, to neglect another important exercise in staying sharp:
unplugging. Stephen Covey would call it "sharpening the saw." Urban
Christians know it as "rest," a command from a God who Himself rested
after working.

There are two ways I view rest. One is to say that it makes you
sharper - laying fallow, whether your work involves physical labor or
mental straining, makes the other days you to strive more productive.
The other is to say that it is an act of faith to choose not to work
for a spell - in forgoing that time to be productive, you are trusting
that God will do just fine absent your striving.

Either way, I am learning I must temper my striving - for information,
for knowledge, for connections - with an equal devotion to rest. I
must find my ways to unplug, and put them into motion. Whether it is
to make myself sharper for the other times I'm plugged in, or to
accept my limits as a human and leave the remainder to God, it is good
to rest.

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