the other day i was talking with a good friend and co-worker about the ways that sin still manifests itself in our lives. which it does, much as i'd like to pretend it doesn't.

i'm a community-lover. ENFP, energized by being around people. i feel inspired and alive when i'm interacting with other people, most especially those with whom i am similarly impassioned.

but in my rebellion against God and His ways (which, in my life, is characterized by stubbornness and control-freak-ish-ness), i work myself into a frenzy trying to sqeeze too much stuff into too few hours. i take on more than i can possibly do, nevermind what i could do well, and i find myself over-stimulated and overwhelmed.

so i withdraw.

fall back. buckle under pressure. isolate. depress.

instead of seeking first the source of life, i block out as many voices as possible (including God's) and try to forcibly stop the barrage. i don't return phone calls or emails. i don't communicate in a timely fashion with the people who need to know. i cancel plans. i don't show up. and i quit praying, reading, dwelling, worshipping. rebellion by apathy and laziness.

but what sucks is that even though it's quieter, it's not any more peaceful. my soul is not at rest. i still feel the pressure and the pull. i still can't manage.

it's because withdrawal is not the same as rest. withdrawn means "removed from circulation, removed from contact." it's like a foot that's fallen asleep: useless, numb, disconnected. when i remove myself from circulation, i may not have as much input to deal with, but i'm also not going to live very long. what good is it to have respite from the pressures of life if it makes you completely numb? i become ineffective and useless, a dead weight.

yes, i am overcommitted. yes, i have a problem with squandering my time. but the solution is not just to quit and withdraw, to disconnect myself from the time-suckers. the answer is to prioritize better, and to choose actively the things that are worthy of my attention and investment, the things that are life-giving and God-glorifying, and to actively reject the things which are not.

but only to withdraw is simply more rebellion. it's not living.

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