Rules of Disengagement

I had a great a professor many years ago in a philosophy course who told us on the first day of class that he would grade us on how we engaged the material. It wasn’t enough to do the readings and assignments. You had to participate in class…contribute to the discussions…add something of value. It was a small class and you couldn’t just get by. He expected more.

I started to think of God as the ultimate great professor who would one day peer into my soul and ask: How did you engage the material, Lucy? I gave you a lot to work with.

You can’t bullshit God.

What am I doing with my gifts? How do I affect the people who come into my life? How am I engaging the abundant material all around me?

That’s an empowering perspective because it puts us in the position of taking an active role in the quality of our souls. It’s up to us to do the work, make the effort. It lets me see God as a benevolent teacher, gently nudging us to be more.

It is Week Two of my great escape. Already the voice in my head admonishes me. I haven’t made a decent To Do List. I haven’t started a work out regimen. (I did download the 7-Minute Workout. Apparently scientists have discovered a 7-minute workout is more effective than an hour. I may hold out for the discovery that merely thinking about working out is more effective than actual exercise.)

Engagement. It is ubiquitous today. It was the point of our social media campaigns at the college where I worked. How can we better engage students? Data show that students who are engaged (meet with professors, join clubs, etc.) persist at higher rates than those who don’t. Love Does is the name of a book I just finished, not Love Rests.

Every morning since I stopped working, my son Jake asks jokingly, “What are you doing today, huh Mom?”

Is it OK to disengage? Is it a weakness or character flaw? Is it a kind of failure? Is God wagging his almighty finger thinking, “Luuucy, you got some ‘splainin to do.” My house is very quiet. No one is home. The TV is off. No one is demanding anything of me right now. Even the dogs are disinterested in my presence. I am only today starting to feel I can exhale.

It is blissfully OK. I think maybe God has my back on this. Here’s my To Do List today:

1. Don’t look at Facebook.

2. Make the bed.

3. Visit Dad and just hold his hand.

4. Drop off the Brisket I made Pat and Jamie.

5. Take a nap.

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