Can You Unplug?
“In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it.” Exodus 20:11
We live in a busy world. People work seven days a week. Part of the work done by many is to provide for things to do for the free time of others – we are even busy doing things when we are “off!” Cell phones ring and beep to acknowledge the receipt of yet another text message in the middle of almost everything. Email keeps us in constant contact with everyone. Social media gives us the impression that we are always relating to some “friends” somewhere. Except when we are asleep it is as if we are almost never off.
There is a myth in our society that laziness is one of the biggest sins. Well to do people love to blame people who are struggling economically with not working hard enough (even though many of them have two jobs to try to make ends meet). But laziness may not be our biggest issue. The drive to always be doing something may plague more of us than laziness ever will.
It may be that our unwillingness to unplug and just exist for a while makes us less productive when we are at work. Studies routinely show that perpetual busyness and distractions in the middle of what we are doing make us less effective (in spite of the illusion that we are doing more).
Sabbath is one of God’s commands. We put people in prison for lying and stealing. We sue one another over slander and adultery. These commandments shape us in ways that when someone violates us, we want justice. But for some reason, we usually honor people who work too much. We celebrate people who over function and won’t shut down for a while. While some of these commandments are lifted up as important, the call to take Sabbath time is one that we just blow off without much thought.
This week, take a few moments to look at your life and your lifestyle. Do you have practices that make time for both hard and productive work as well as complete and uninterrupted rest? How can you find ways to unplug, meditate, relax, practice prayer, be mindful, read scripture, and just watch the world go by?
God apparently takes time off and rests. God calls us to do the same.