Recently, I shared with a friend my struggle practicing silence and solitude. Like most problems, I began to make excuses based on busyness and distractions. My mind can run a thousand miles per hour without ever taking time to stop. This conversation began to point to a deeper issue.
He began to ask me a series of questions…
How often do you leave your phone off during the day?
When you drive, do you turn the radio off?
Are you taking time to read from a book, not a screen?
The lack of solitude and silence pointed to my inability to digitally disconnect. Email, text messages, phone calls, and social media notifications crowded any space to hear from God. I bought the lie of productivity and connection; we can get more done and know more while staying connected. Jesus calls us to better way. When we can disconnect digitally, then we can have space to see life through His view.
Jesus models healthy disconnection. True, He did not have a host of twitter followers or Facebook fan page. Crowds of people beckoned for His attention. The writers of the Gospels purposely detail time he drew away by Himself. A message we need to hear as we constantly check our phones for the next notification. We keep loading our brains with information, while our souls long for rest.
Brandon Schulz writes about our need to disconnect in Barna Frames: The Hyperlinked Life:
A plethora of platforms and programs are begging for you to pay attention to them. Yet at the same time, God whispers a subtle but compelling invitation to quiet and to peace. In this quiet peace, we can encounter him and re-center ourselves. Practice the rhythm of reaching for this quiet peace in the morning before you reach your phone. When you have a break in your day, take the opportunity to practice silence and stillness rather than chasing the next distraction. (pg. 82)
Maybe the most spiritual activity we can do today is disconnect from our devices. Pockets of stillness and silence could lead us to connect with the Creator of the universe. A car ride without the radio might allow us to experience God’s revelation of nature around us. Taking the time to read could bring insight to an area of growth in our lives.
What would happen to our lives if we could practice daily disconnection?
Photo used with permission by Chris Mason Design.