IBA (I've been away)

Published on 26 July 2023 at 19:00

from God and the Book for a long time now. Close to 3 years now since I've cracked open the pages of my physical Bible.

Sometime in September 2020. I deleted all of my Bible/Study apps. Got rid of my NT Greek interlinear app. Stopped my daily habit of spiritual journaling. Stopped setting intentional time to actively pray and worship daily. Stopped attending a church in person and remotely.

 

3 Main factors in play here as I think back:

 

  1. Personal burnout

I believe the leading determining factor at the time to stepping away from being active in my relationship with God was due to complete burn out with my weekly schedule.

I had high intensity 60+ hour work weeks for the current project life cycle. 

I was heavily involved in two church ministries at the time. Sunday AM and then PM services and also involved in a weekly group study. 

I had to cut back. Something had to change.

I was experiencing being sick - physical, mental and emotional - more than I ever had before despite only being 33 at the time.

Since in my mind, I couldn't quit my work schedule to alleviate the pressures, I quit my spiritual schedule.

 

  1. Christian Disconnect

My spiritual routines seemed and felt like they were wearing me down rather than building me up. More work than enjoyment.

I needed time to make sure of my motivation for my interaction with God and His Word.

"Was I doing this for me? Or out of routine and comfort zone? Habit?"

As COVID arrived and the lockdowns hit NYC, my thoughts were a mess with the church. Caught up in the swirl of political negativity specifically from those in my church circles.

"Why can't the church just love?"

"How did the church get so politically involved?"

"There has to be a better balance of standing on absolute truth while also reaching people on the opposite sides of black and white and gray issues..."

I believed in God and my faith in him, but some of those people who rep Him... [insert angry sigh!]

I was becoming disconnected.

 

  1. Life After COVID

Everything was remote now.

It was 3 long months from the early March 2020 closures before I was allowed back on my job site in person. My work office remained closed, and I adjusted to working more hours than ever remotely from my small Manhattan apartment.

The same went for my church interactions: all of the sudden my natural human needs being met on a practical social level — all of the fun I had volunteering and serving together my friends were replaced with the remote services and zoom group studies.

Like for many of you, those changes were hard for me. And it made it easier to become disconnected from my spiritual friends and mentors.

So I stopped. I left. It's been about 3 years since.