Did you hear it? The wails of three teenagers echoing across the entire state of Indiana when we told them we were having an “unplugged” no cell phone, no facebook trip to see their grandparents in NY this weekend?
John and I decided we’re going to leave cell phones at home (except for his in case of emergency) and not allow anyone on facebook either. It’s only for five days but you would have thought we asked each of the girls to personally cut off their own arms and forever live in caves as hermits.
We live in a deluge of input, information, communication, entertainment, and technology and it seems to have caused American Christians to become spiritually malnourished, weak, subtly distracted and preoccupied. I have to admit I have allowed it to make me that way. When was the last time I sat down just to be quiet? How about an evening without turning on the TV or sitting down in front of the Internet? How about going for a walk outside and not taking the iPod? Just listening to nature and keeping ears open to hear God speak.
It seems to me much harder to be sold out for Jesus when there is so much available to take up our attention and time. Is it “easier” for Christians in third world countries to focus on God when they have so little? I’m not sure but it seems it would be.
John and I feel maybe we’ve done our girls a disservice by allowing them to plunge into the world of technology so much. As a parent you sometimes think you’re being loving by allowing them to enjoy a lot of what’s available. Hey, maybe it doesn’t conflict with the Scriptures, it doesn’t cause them to be doing sinful things to text their friends…all the time…but it does cause their minds to be “busy” and saturated with stimulation, words, conversation, and sometimes just plain nonsense and silliness. I often tell them that what they’re watching on TV is just wasting their brain cells. They’re much less likely to sit down in their rooms and open their Bible, or just be quiet with God, when there are so many other entertaining ways to spend time.
The Bible says that Jesus often went off by himself to pray and be alone in quiet. He had plenty of input with the crowds that thronged to wherever He was, pressing in, wanting his attention, needing his touch. He was wise enough to get away regularly and just be with His Father, God. He knew the value of quiet, times of solitude, stillness and prayer.
I think we should intentionally unplug ourselves from our culture sometimes and purposefully allow quiet. Some of the best thoughts, insights and realizations have come to me in moments when I just sat, letting my mind wander, letting God move my heart and bring ideas or lessons to the surface that otherwise would have been continually pressed down by other things.
I’m going to unplug this weekend and am looking forward to it. I’m praying my girls will see the value, too, once we’ve been without the phones and facebook for a few days. Hey, a mom can always be optimistic and hope right?
“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.” Psalm 23:1-3
“This is what the Sovereign Lord,
the Holy One of Israel, says:
‘Only in returning to me
and resting in me will you be saved.
In quietness and confidence is your strength.
But you would have none of it.’ ” Isaiah 30:15