Receiving Permission to Unplug

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Do you ever feel like you’re always plugged in? It’s like sometimes my life is so tied to the internet that I can’t escape it.

I work through the internet. I keep in touch with friends through the internet. I watch hockey through the internet.

The hard part is that even my leisure can begin to merge with my work, and if I’m misbehaving, my work can be slowed by my leisure. In order to make the most of my time in either category, I need to be fully present with one or the other.

And yet more and more, I find myself fighting against blurring lines. Time leaks away from work, or work tries to invade my quiet Sunday afternoons.

A gift I’ve received from God lately has been permission to fully rest. When I’m relaxing on an evening or weekend, I have permission to just focus on a full period of hockey without checking my e-mail—unplugging from my work. If I’m taking a walk, the phone stays turned off. If I’m eating dinner on the porch, the computer, Nook, and phone stay inside while I watch the sunset swirl with reds, oranges, and purples.

I keep hearing this whisper over and over again to be fully present where I’m at. This is so different from my frantic, multi-tasking tendencies, that I can only say it is something that God is impressing on me.

This week has been particularly busy. I’m going to the Indianapolis Christian Writing Conference on Friday, and I picked up some extra projects. I’ve worked some long days. I could have worked even longer days.

Despite my overwhelming to-do list, last night I sensed that I needed to eat dinner on the porch and spend a little time in the living room with the rabbits while a hockey game played in the background. These aren’t things that I do naturally. My wife is often shocked to see me sitting on the couch, just relaxing.

These short, simple pleasures were gifts. I would never give myself permission to stop. I can always find another project, another e-mail, and another chore.

God’s gift to me has been rest—permission to unplug and enjoy an evening at home. Rest is just as available and unlimited as my projects and work, but I need to choose to receive it.

Read more posts about God’s gifts today at Faith Barista: The Book that Would Not Go Away

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3 thoughts on “Receiving Permission to Unplug

  1. Justin Boggs

    It seems, that is what the Sabbath is all about. Rest. Except now it isn’t just one day, but every second of our lives. And it’s a commandment. If you claim to follow Christ you have no choice.

    Interesting.

  2. Liz

    Yes, yes, yes!
    This happened to me this weekend, as weather knocked out our phone line, internet and cable for 2 days.
    Because of this, I feel entirely ‘rested’ in a physical and emotional sense, and am more ready to take on the week as I have been in a long, long time.
    Now, on to the challenge of doing this purposefully…

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