How do you de-stress? Do you de-stress? Or is your life so full, so busy, so frantic, that you never seem to have the time to stop and rest?
Some people view leisure as weakness – the person who deigns to take a day off is flawed, and has no chance of ever getting ahead in life. But with so many of us plugged in 24/7, taking time off is more important than ever. Former Washington Post writer William Powers and his family chose to unplug from devices each weekend to create a kind of Digital Sabbath.
He called what they were experiencing the “screen state of mind,” with a short attention span and a goal-directed, “search and destroy” way of living. Living link to link. They grew accustomed to the instant quality of living that way. And while having this technology may be more efficient, and miraculous, there is an element that is different from being in the real world. You don’t experience the depth you have with human interaction! There is no sense of community. Powers said that flitting from screen to screen can be drug like and addictive. Sometimes, marriages and families suffer because one member can’t pull themselves away from the screen. So Powers and his family started having a Digital Sabbath.
Do you need instant access to knowledge? Instant communication? We pay a high price. Just take a look around next time you’re in a restaurant – I’ve witnessed two parents and two children sitting at a table, all of them staring down at their phones. A couple out on a date, then his phone rings, and she sits there for minutes while he carries on a conversation that most likely wasn’t all that necessary. I mean, we’re not all that important. No really, we’re not!
Whatever your Sabbath is, one day of rest, out of seven, isn’t asking too much. The same way your body craves sleep, taking a day to rest – to meditate, pray, contemplate – is rejuvenating, restorative. I know, try telling that to your teenager. But they need it even more!
Could you unplug for the weekend? For a day? Could you try it just for dinner?
God created humankind to be connected with each other. While you’re focused on your handheld device, you might miss the love shining in your child’s eyes, the warmth reflected in your partner’s smile, the wistful longing as your parent remembers, or the pure joy of being in the company of friends.