Life at one time, had natural, built-in boundaries to the rhythm of our days. A long time ago, people went to bed shortly after sunset – especially when wood or oil reserves ran low. More recently, phones rarely rang after 9 PM, stores were closed on Sundays, children played outside after school, and evenings were often free.
Not so today. There is no “on/off.” The commotion and motion of 24/7 has ushered us into a new realm. Many blessings, yes, but with it, burdens that bear upon us with tremendous force.
The on/off rhythm of life was stamped into creation, the galaxy, every living thing and every living creature…night/day, sleep/wakefulness, seasons, tides, reproduction, migration. Life, as we were created, is to be one of rhythm.
For sanity to return in modern life, for wellness to rise up, rhythm must be returned to its rightful place. [tweetthis remove_twitter_handles=”true” remove_hidden_hashtags=”true”]For sanity to return in modern life & wellness to rise up, rhythm must be returned to rightful place.[/tweetthis]It can be neglected no more.
I want to invite you to a challenge. Commit for a single day, then consider a week. Be forewarned. These challenges require self-control.
This first challenge involves cell phones. For some of us, this is more of a challenge than for others.
This week, commit to some sacred space – where cell phones are not invited. (The word sacred means, at its core, “set apart.”) Set apart time in your day, where the activity and the people before you have your full unadulterated attention. Here are three suggestions.
- Tuck the cell phone away or turn it off when eating with others, whether in your home, in a lunch room, while at a restaurant. It’s a 20 minute investment in people you will not regret.
- If you are a parent, adopt a “no electronics” car policy for trips under 30 minutes or for the first 30 minutes of any car trip. Stand firm! The groans and moans will eventually subside. Revive the lost art of conversation…or of quiet. Nurture the art of “storytelling.” Start a game of Alphabet Soup. Start with the letter A. Pick a word – apple, avalanche, avocado, antenna – and see if it triggers a memory of a story someone in the car can share. Next car ride, choose a word that begins with B.
- Pick a block of time each evening where 100% of your focus is people or an activity that refreshes. Turn off your phone and set a timer. 30 minutes? 60? 120? Focus. Invest. Savor.
We would love to hear your thoughts. Are you willing to commit? What makes it hard? What have you found surprising? How can we pray for you? (Adam, my friend, thanks for inspiring this one. Tell me how it goes. Start with one day. You can do it!)
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4 thoughts on “Off The Grid”
May I share this ?
Yes! Please do. I am so glad it is a blessing.
I have a love hate relationship with my phone. I love it when I am talking to my mom, getting the weather, or reading a bible passage. I hate that people expect me to be attached to it. I have a family, I have a job; I have other things to do than be attached to a plastic communication device. If I don’t answer, it’s not because I don’t care. Leave a message and not a text. I want to hear your voice. Admittedly as tech savvy as I am, I ignore the thing a lot.
Thankfully phones aren’t a staple at my dinner table or in my car. I will not let my devices define my life (only God does that), rather I define how I use my devices as to “try” not to complicate my life any more than it has to be.
I think that this is great advise, but I’m not obsessed with my phone. The other day it died. I don’t know when and didn’t notice until 5:00 PM. LOL! I prefer email to text and a voice more then either, but an email or text limits time and some calls go on for hours. Still when you are with someone or even apart, nothing will convey a hug like your time and voice.