We are pleased to have the Rev. Chadwick Anderson of the Free Methodist Church–USA as our blogger for May and June.
Recently I invited teenagers and parents to come together for a time of discussing the importance of “Unplugging”. In the weeks preparing for the lesson, I was reminded over and over again that this is something I struggle with as well. As a young parent with 3 daughters aged 6 and under, our life is increasingly busy. So far we”ve kept them all in the same extracurricular activity (ballet), but someday even that might change.
So how do we continue to thrive and grow in a world that moves at such a frantic pace, while still retaining our ability to “Sabbath” and spend time quieting ourselves in the presence of God? This is definitely not an exhaustive list, but here are a couple useful places to begin:
1. Learn the importance of the word “Enough”. With more choices/options/opportunities, comes more anxiety about connecting with the right ones. Pinterest reminds us about all the amazing things we have yet to try. Facebook reminds us of all the things our friends recommend and suggest we check out. A few minutes with the evening news gives us at least 10 different worries we”d somehow forgotten about. A quick check of our text messages, and we remember a few different people we haven”t messaged back yet.
So when is it enough? I”m not advocating laziness here, and yet I am wanting to grant release from the pressures of performance. Find a way to reduce the amount of choices or options in your daily life. Disconnect from something. You could probably stop reading this blog post right now, and go take a nap, read a book/the comics, or cuddle up with a little one.
2. You”re not a “Documentarian”. Remember growing up using cameras that took film? Video recorders that took VHS tapes? You had 24 pictures available, or 1 hour of footage. Whatever you captured, you were grateful to have to share with others later on. With the increasing use of digital media, we feel the need to capture (and share) every picture and video we can. Why? Because we can! But how many pictures do we REALLY need of that monkey at the zoo? How many iPhone clips of your niece sipping tea with her ponies do you REALLY need to share?
I”m just as guilty in this as anyone. But every once in a while, as I”m holding my phone up to capture that incredibly cute moment, I look around the room of parents and realize – hardly anyone here is simply taking in the moment! When we put down our devices, to actually have eye contact with the world as it”s happening – we open ourselves to be invited into experiencing it in new ways. Instead of capturing cute pictures for later, we”ll be jumping in mud puddles, sipping tea with ponies, getting teary-eyed as the mommy monkey feeds her baby, and simmering in the wonder of each moment as they happen.
Be reminded this week: Jesus said “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 Give yourself time and space to soak in the words and presence of God, and don”t feel pressure to Tweet about it when you”re done. 🙂