Of Phones & Sabbath
I've been thinking about the idea of Sabbath rest lately, and how it's so difficult to carve out Sabbath time in our increasingly busy and over-connected lives.
St. Augustine once wrote, "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our soul is restless until it finds rest in you."
In the book of Hebrews we have this bit of wisdom:
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.
So how do we find rest in a world where it's becoming increasingly difficult to carve out space for quiet and rest---a world that is being shaped by our constant reliance on social media and technology?
There is actually a recognized phobia that has now become widespread and totally associated with smartphone technology. It's called Nomophobia--the fear of being away from your phone.
For many of us, our phones are the last thing we check before we go to bed at night, just to see if we missed any texts, emails or Facebook status changes. And they are the first things we reach for in the morning.
I used to smoke cigarettes: two packs a day. I would often have a cigarette close to bedtime--out walking the dog and whatnot. And my cigarette pack was the first thing I reached for in the morning.
For most of us, our phones have become as addicting as cigarettes.
The writer of Hebrews declares to us that God has a special rest in Christ for those who are willing to embrace it.
This is more than just keeping rules and regulations. It's a lifestyle, a way of life, a mindset. The special Sabbath we find as followers of Christ frees us from the tyranny of the urgent, the slavery to our schedules and allows us to find newness of life, rest, regeneration.
What will you do after reading this? Will you immediately check your phone to see if someone texted you? Or if you got a comment on your last Facebook post? Will you keep scrolling for the next email? Or will you simply take a few moments to be still and find quiet in the moment?
Be intentional today about taking Sabbath moments to be still and seek God's presence. Find space to be quiet and rest as you pray for the ability to enter more completely into a Sabbath lifestyle.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.