I tried something different last weekend. My days off
have traditionally been Friday and Saturday, since I work on Sundays and would
like to have two days off in a row. However, I worked the previous seven
weekends without a day off.
Not that my work is all that hard, but everyone needs
time to unwind, decompress, or just relax and renew; Sabbath time. I find my
creative spirit weakening if I don’t have some down time, and it is creative
spirit that keeps me alert and clear-headed.
I have previously made it a point to never turn my phone
off. I felt like I should always be accessible. That may have been a mistake.
The phone was encroaching on my Sabbath time and I was beginning to sense too
much stress related to instantly receiving e-mails, messages, and relentless
I am confident my vehicle warranty is in effect, I don’t
need a Medicare review, and I don’t have any student loan debt, but they keep
calling. So I turned it off. The next two days proved very interesting.
I found myself feeling guilty; “What if someone needs me?”,
“What if there is an emergency?”, “Will everyone stops talking to me because I
didn’t answer my phone?” Those and other rampant thoughts occupied my mind for
the first half of the day.
The second half of Friday was productive at home. I
finished a few small projects that had been dragging-on. It felt relaxing to
see these tasks completed, and I went to bed satisfied with my day, yet still
suffering withdrawal from phone use. But, I did not turn it back on.
On Saturday I experienced a feeling that had become
foreign to me; I was present in the moment. I realized how much of my time and
attention had been devoted to this little device. It is not like this
self-inflicted dependency happened all at once. It developed over several
The immediate availability of information is a two-edged
sword. We feel the need to be instantly-informed and we develop a dependency on
instant fulfilment. However, problems develop over time, such as: shortened
attention span, constant preoccupation with the device, inability to think for
yourself, reduced personal interaction, and many more.
Sleep-depravation is another side-effect of excessive
device usage. This leads to numerous problems, including: mood swings, fits of
anger and depression, phobias, and numerous health problems.
We all need time away from electronic devices. We all
need a break, which by the way, is also known as Sabbath, a day of rest;
perhaps even two days of rest. I have discovered one of the simplest and most
accessible forms of rest and relaxation; TURN IT OFF!
“Seek first the Kingdom of God, and everything you need
will be provided to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
Blessings and Peace to You
ST. ANDREW’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
555 E. Third Street | Grove, OK 74344