Pushing the Pause Button

Tonight, Christians all over the world begin their observance of Holy Week. In my home church, this means services every single day through Easter (or as we call it “Pascha“). The week following Easter is also special. It is called “Bright Week.”

A Computer Pause/Break Button - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/smartstock, Image #4497362

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/smartstock

In order to focus on this season and recharge my own spiritual batteries, I am taking a two-week blogging and Twittering hiatus. Frankly, I need it. I have been traveling like crazy and burning the candle at both ends. It’s time to take a break and get re-focused on my ultimate priorities. There’s no time like Holy Week to do this.

My plan is to resume blogging and Twittering on Monday, April 12. Until then, may you experience the holiness—and joy—of this season.

Questions: Are you interrupting your normal routine for Holy Week? If so what are you doing?
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  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ronlane Ron Lane

    We will miss you these two weeks.

    My life will be opening a new chapter this week. I will be leaving my position where I've been for over 7 years and embark on a entirely new adventure.

    Looking forward to reading your next blog.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Ron. All the best on your new beginning. It’s kind of interesting that Easter is about that is well. It looked like the end, but it was really the beginning.

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  • Lynn Rush

    I wish you well, Michael. Bless your time off.

  • Andy Depuy

    Mike Enjoe the awesome time you are going to have with the Father & whe you come back in 2 weeks may God doing something amazing on your blog. Get rest in Him & we will see you in 2 weeks. When you come back changes in my life will probably already happen but I live in His strengh

  • Sean Smith

    I think this is great, Michael. Proud of you for realizing the need to pull away and rest, as even Jesus did while here on earth. May the Lord overwhelm you with His goodness and His faithfulness to ALL generations. May you return on April 12th refreshed and renewed. The Hebrew word for “new” in Lamentations 3 means to “restore and renew”. You can rest in the fact that He will restore you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Spend quality time in His word, in prayer and in private praise and worship with your King. The Lord Most High will meet you in that place, brother. Blessings!

    T. Sean Smith

  • http://twitter.com/jalc6927 @jalc6927

    You and your family, Be Blessed in your time away.
    My recent post

  • http://lancecashion.typepad.com/my-blog/ lance

    This is an excellent idea. Enjoy your time of reflection and break.

  • http://www.therextras.com BarbaraBoucher PTPhD

    Easter blessings on you and your family, Michael.
    My recent post Toys That Teach

  • http://www.moonboatcafe.com Cassandra Frear

    I applaud your decision. I just finished taking a week off from all social media, except a couple of updates with gmail. For a week I did not do blogs, facebook, twitter, TV, radio, or phone calls. I shut myself in a room for periods of time or went for long, quiet walks. I wrote in my journal. I talked to the Lord — long winding conversations and reflections. The results? Nothing spectacular, but a change in perspective and a strengthening of the inner man.

    The change in perspective is a dark horse. It doesn't look life-changing at first glance. But it alters the trajectory of my life. For "as a man thinks, so he is." I will travel to a vastly different destination because I made adjustments on the path.

    May the heavens dip low to meet your soul.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

    I love the title "Bright Week"–just think, when Christ returns, we will experience the "Bright Eternity!"

    I understand the necessity of taking pauses–we all need them. I'll be praying for you, Gail, and your family. May you all (along with everyone else) find the truth of God's absolute love everywhere you walk. When we all wake up to the power of His love and manifest that love to our neighbors, our world will change. After all, that's why Christ went to the cross. God's blessings!
    My recent post #35 THE DOING OF BELIEVING: TRUTH

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your prayers, Patricia. My daughter, Madeline, goes in for major surgery tomorrow, so we are especially needing the prayers of our friends. Thanks so much!

  • http://WriteOnRideOn.blogspot.com Janet Lyn

    Wonderful to hear you're able to take some time for rest and reflection, especially at this most meaningful time of the year.

    I always feel like pulling back a bit this time of year, too. I take so much strength from the power of the HOPE of the Resurrection. Yet I am humbled and overwhelmed every year by the power of the Crucifixion as well, knowing how far Jesus was williing to go out of love for me and for all of us. Easter and the Resurrection always bring me to tears of gratitude for what Jesus did to take away the horrible sting and sorrow of death.

    So, I plan to once again take a step back starting today and all this Holy Week for more alone time with God. Then I will be ready to celebrate with great joy and exuberant gratitude on Easter Resurrection Sunday .
    My recent post Spring is Here~Hope Has Won!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Easter is so significant theologically. In the Eastern church, of which I am a member, Easter is the biggest holiday of the year. I can't wait!

  • http://www.speckleofdirt.com Speckle

    Yes…while many are going off the grid to recharge and refocus…I'm going to write a daily post about Jesus as a way to recharge my batteries. I'm so excited to see what He will do with my heart and those who read it! Have a wonderful time with your family. We'll see you in April via blog and tweet!
    My recent post #7 Frivolous Fridays: Permission to Change Our Thinking

  • http://www.theworldiscalling.com Lisa Bergren

    Good for you, Michael. Your decision made me consider my own priorities over these next two weeks as well. I am saying a prayer now that God will deeply bless this time and help you recharge and refocus.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Lisa. I appreciate that.

  • http://www.lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

    Hope the time off gives you some clarity and rest.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Lindsey. It is such a huge release just knowing that I don't have to crank out a post for tomorrow!

  • Mark Rice

    Thank you Mike. You have pushed me to consider same. I will decide by sunset, but feel called to put down my beloved Blackberry Storm for the week.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Good for you!

  • Marybeth Whalen

    I love this Mike! Thanks for challenging the rest of us to focus on Holy Week. I will look forward to hearing what you discover in the silence.

  • Duke Dillard

    Enjoy the break, Michael. I am guessing that this is a significant step of faith for you, and that you will encounter many temptations to break this commitment. May the Lord give you grace and much joy during this time as well as deep insights into your soul and connection with Him. I'll be praying for you.
    peace,
    Duke Dillard

  • Joe Willoughby

    Thank you for leading by example. I pray you hear God's voice as you enter this time of solitude. "… And He withdrew Himself into the wilderness, and prayed." Luke 5:16.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I love that verse of Scripture!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/success2you John Richardson

    Good for you, Michael. I hope you have a restful and reflective time off. As for me, It's spring break at the district where I work and two weeks to get caught up while everyone else is off. Good Friday through Easter though, will be a good time to turn off the electronics and focus on family and friends. I met the Lord on Good Friday in 1971, so that day always has special meaning to me.
    My recent post Social Media: Setting Up a Facebook Account

  • Hank

    Michael, I think that is a great idea. I work with leaders in my company and in my role in HR constantly am concerned with their pace of life. Most people don’t understand this pace or the weight you and leaders like yourself carry in being passionate about what you do.

    My normal routine has been totally interrupted in that I have been asked to lead our Pastor Search Team at my church.

    I will spend this week preparing our team for the next steps we take in this process and terribly excited about the fact that HE IS RISEN!

    That is enough for me….My rest comes at the end of the year.
    God Bless.
    Hank
    Jax State Fan on Twitter

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      In my experience, you either voluntarily take these breaks or involuntary—when your health or sanity breaks down. I will chose the former!

  • http://www.todshuttleworth.com Tod Shuttleworth

    As long as this does not represent Forrest deciding to stop running, I support it. :-)
    My recent post How to Build A Mobile App

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      That cracked me up!

  • http://www.susieshawsoulcare.com Susie Shaw

    I pray it is rejuvenating and you experience Christ in beautiful ways rebuilding you and inviting you more into His heart.

  • http://forrest-long.blogspot.com Forrest Long

    God bless you in this holy week! How we need to move deeply beyond the crass commercial celebrations our culture has added and focus our hearts and minds this week. Along with the special services I do my own daily readings, as well as reading sermons of the early Fathers that focus on this week. For me it is such a holy week. But I do plan to share some of this on my blog for others to be blessed by it.

  • http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com WomenLivingWell

    Wow! I just finished reading over at John Piper's blog (http://www.desiringgod.org) that he is taking an 8 month absence of no writing, twittering, blogging, facebooking, preaching etc. I was touched by his wisdom to take a break for his family's sake and for refreshment.

    And then I come over here and see you taking a 2 week break! 2 men I admire – taking a break – I think God's telling me something!!!

    I can't take a break this week as I have blogs all planned to go – but I'm getting my calendar out and planning a week in the summer to take a break! Thanks for the inspiration! And permission!
    Courtney
    http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com

    My recent post My Cell Phone is a Cleaning Tool

  • http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com WomenLivingWell

    Wow! I just finished reading over at John Piper's blog (http://www.desiringgod.org) that he is taking an 8 month absence of no writing, twittering, blogging, facebooking, preaching etc. I was touched by his wisdom to take a break for his family's sake and for refreshment.

    And then I come over here and see you taking a 2 week break! 2 men I admire – taking a break – I think God's telling me something!!!

    I can't take a break this week as I have blogs all planned to go – but I'm getting my calendar out and planning a week in the summer to take a break! Thanks for the inspiration! And permission!
    Courtney
    http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com

    My recent post My Cell Phone is a Cleaning Tool

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/mitchebie Mitch Ebie

      8 months sure is a long time! But sometimes it is necessary. My longest length of time to step away from the usual routines is one week. I did not watch any TV, listen to any radio or use the computer. It was a good week :) BTW, you site is awesome!

  • http://www.ReneeSwope.com Renee Swope

    Been feeling a tug on my heart to pause from twitter, facebook and blogging during Spring Break. Your post evoked a healthy sense of envy or maybe permission. Whatever it is, thank you for being authentic and inspiring in all that you write. Wondering why God had me read your post and then John Piper’s minutes later. Just read Isaiah 30:15, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…” Hmmm.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

    “Wow” is right. Eight months. That is bold and courageous. I’ll bet he comes back stronger than ever. I can wait to see what he learns.

  • Juan

    Hey Mike, Have a good 2 week time off from the active world of social media. we will miss you!

  • http://www.spintheaxis.com Jason

    My wife and I are taking this week (well, we started on Friday) really taking stock of our lives and the way we’ve been living to see how we can make it more in line with God’s call on our lives. We have a LOT of changes to make but we’re excited about what is ahead of us.

    Enjoy your sabbatical!

  • http://thatguykc.wordpress.com K.C.

    Thank you for the exhortation to slow down and breathe. Hope you get some quality & quantity time with the family to relax and recharge. God bless.

    If we see you online before April 12th rest assured we'll flame you for it.
    My recent post OK, Now What?

  • http://building-his-body.blogspot.com/ Anne Lang Bundy

    I was recently intrigued by Exodus 31:17, which speaks of the Sabbath being not just a rest but also a refreshment for God Himself. I couldn't believe my eyes and checked into the Hebrew word naphash. It really does mean the Lord was refreshed by His rest. (I did a short post on that today.)

    I applaud you, Mike, and pray that you indeed share both the Lord's rest and His refreshment.

    And rather than take a break from my routine, I'll be doing a post Friday on the physiological conditions which can cause the heart to rupture from extreme emotional distress. I still have some reasearch to do, but it appears possible that Jesus might have died from a broken heart before he could die from the suffocation of crucifixion.
    My recent post Sharing Rest with God

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt michaelhyatt

      Thanks for the word study, Anne. That is fascinating!

  • http://www.isthatyoulord.blogspot.com Shelly

    Just found you through a friend….but I think it was the Holy Spirit (who is also a friend :)) What a great idea…..my most recent blog post was on the Tragedy of Life in the Fast Lane haha….so this is timely and appropriate….Thank you :) Blessings….Shelly
    My recent post The Tragedy of Life in the Fast Lane

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/timage timage

    Thank you for reminding me that this is Holy Week and not another "Hectic" week. I celebrate and reflect with you during this significant moment in the Church calendar.

  • http://twitter.com/KarynBrownlee @KarynBrownlee

    Wow! What boldness! I'm excited for you, knowing God will meet you in your quest for intimacy with Him, and bless you in the days that follow. I also can't wait to learn more about "Bright Week", considering my mission is to remain on a "Brighter Walk"! Thank you for shining brightly for Him in ALL you do. Happy Easter!

  • http://twitter.com/Jenni_Burke @Jenni_Burke

    Good for you, Mike. Selah.

  • Michelle Traudt

    You will be missed, but I think it's great that you are taking a two week break. We all need breaks and with technology these days sometimes its hard to not be so plugged in all the time. Enjoy Holy week and enjoy the break!

  • Anne Marie

    Have a blessed Pascha! Christ is risen! He is truly risen!

    God bless, Anne Marie :)

  • Hannelene Beillard

    I had a baby boy on March 12, and have (mostly) interrupted blog reading even for this sacred time with my new son. It has made Easter especially meaningful for our family this year, and every minute I spend with that precious baby is a prayer of thanksgiving for the gift of life – which is ultimately the gift of Easter.

  • anon

    our pastor called us to fast in some form during the week…I've chosen to give up a different item each day…Mon was sweets…Tues was Coke Zero…today is TV…tomorrow is internet surfing/blog reading/twitter…it's been a great way for me to shift focus back to Jesus and the sacrifices he made for us many years ago

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/chrisshaughness chrisshaughness

    Thank you for being an example of "walking the talk" by taking a break. I haven't had a vacation in several years and I know it's not a good thing. A day here and there helps to recharge my batteries so I am taking off on Good Friday to attend the stations of the cross, take a long walk in the nature conservatory, and spend time hanging out with my dog. No TV, internet, or phones.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/pg7977 Cyberquill

    No, I am not interrupting my normal routine during holy week.

    I can't help but notice that you lower-cased blogging and capitalized Twittering. After all, Twitter is the name of a company. I conclude from this that you would also capitalze the verb Googling.

    Happy Easter!

  • Yetunde

    Thanks for all your great posts
    I hope you and yours have a blessed holiday season. Our Lord and Savior is risen!

    In addition to my normal quiet times, I will spend time in the Word, Christian books (like Case for Christ), and in worship meditating on the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

  • http://www.christopherhopper.com Chrstopher Hopper

    My recent 40-day blogatical accomplished much for me; may you find a similar respite. Praying for you, Michael! ch:
    My recent post Managing the Moster

  • http://my.opera.com/freerider/blog/ Stanley

    I would like to thank you for your great stories and worthwhile posts!
    I am still searching for my right faith, but I am so happy working on that…and you are helping me.
    big thank you

    God bless you
    My recent post I am a teacher

  • http://impactministries.com/ Peter

    I totally can relate to this post. In my career we have become accustomed to being social online. Sacrifice is key to appreciation though.

    – Peter of

    http://impactministries.com/

    "Get Interactive with God with our Live Online Sermons"

  • http://twitter.com/KarynBrownlee @KarynBrownlee

    "Bright Week May Be a Bright Idea for All" – http://www.everydaychristian.com/blogs/post/6686/

    Blessings on your Bright Week!
    My recent post Bright Week may be a bright idea for all

  • Tracy

    I cannot begin to tell you how much God has used this post to speak to my heart. I am at a personal crossroads in an important decision I need to make for me and my family. While on Twitter, I realized I hadn't seen any tweets from you for a while so I went to your blog and read this post. That Pause/Break image had a profound impact on the decision I was burdened with making and the post confirmed the direction I had already felt the Holy Spirit prompt me in. Then reading some of the comments was further confirmation. Thank you, thank you, thank you! This post made me realize that it's healthy and good to step away during certain seasons of life to regain focus and "strengthen the inner man". I'm at that place and now I know with clarity and certainty what course I need to take.

    Praising the God who uses blogs and Twitter to get messages across to His children! :)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/kkcoolj kkcoolj

    Welcome back to digital world (assuming you'll read this post April 12th!) Michael! Wondering how you did during your break from blogging and twittering. Did you have moments where you just wanted to "SHARE" your thoughts and immediately had a knee jerk reaction to start typing on the computer? How did your experience "SHARING" with those immediately in around you vs. the blogosphere and twitterverse change your understanding on communication? Would love to hear your reflections.

    Kenny http://www.Godvertiser.com
    My recent post A New Voice For The New Testament: The Voice Bible Translation Review

  • http://www.therextras.com BarbaraBoucher PTPhD

    I know it is a couple of days before you return, but I wanted to share this post with you.
    http://amyjuliabecker.blogspot.com/2010/04/gods-b
    My recent post Imagining Technology as an External Earth Brain

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Barbara, this is excellent. I mean, really. I have subscribed to your blog. It is a good word for writers. If I were Tweeting, I would tweet a link to this post!

  • Jim in Portland

    What does your two weeks look like? Can you rest and focus on Holy week and fish? Walking the beach eating out? Up at the old cabin just sitting and looking at the tree scape? In your office, at your house on your knees. Listening to the Welsh Mens Choir sing hymns?

    Refocusing has many different atmospheres and can be done in many ways. Do you find your re-focusing time a little bit different each year? Is there a pattern?

    Jim in Portland

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      For me, as an Orthodox Christian, Holy Week meant attending services every might, most of the day on Friday and Saturday and then celebrating Pascha (the name most commonly used to refer to Easter by the early Christians) at midnight on Saturday, followed by a HUGE, glorious feast with all my friends. We didn't finish until 3:00 a.m.

      We slept in until noon, got up, lounged around the house, and then returned to Agape Vespers (another Orthodox tradition), where we herd the Gospel read in about 12 languages, demonstrating that this message is for EVERYONE. We then had a great BBQ picnic together.

      This past week was spent with some work and a little travel, but, mostly, basking in the glory of the resurrection. Now we are at the beach for a week-long vacation. Loving it!

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