Unplug. It's become a bit of a buzzword lately. With phones constantly in our hands and screens in every area of every place, it's obvious that we need untethered time. Our brains, our spirits and even our eyes need a break!
We have a new computer at home. Well, it's kinda new. We've had it about a year and it's just now to the point where it's accumulated a lot of music and downloads. Sometimes that little twirling ball of death just spins and spins promising it's loading new information but never delivering. The only option at that point is to turn the whole thing off. One of my heroes, Robin Jones Gunn noticed the same thing in her life and asks, "How is it that a freaked out electronic device that has no soul, can demonstrate the art of resetting by shutting down and pausing before it restarts and yet I resist the same simple process?"
Turning off your smart phone for a day or going without a podcast while folding clothes or even just driving to the store without the radio on may be hard for you. Sometimes I don't want to get alone with my thoughts because to-do lists and regrets and questions and problems creep up. The distraction of technology does just that--distracts me from contemplation.
Unplugging can bring quiet. But at times we need more than quiet. We need to unplug from distractions and immediately plug into the breath and heart of Father God. As we sit in His presence--totally quiet, totally alone--He meets us. He can fill us with a loud understanding of what He has for us--for those to-do lists, regrets, questions and problems.
A few days ago, I sat on my couch while the kids were sleeping and my husband was working out (it was as alone as I can get). I read a few verses in the Bible and then I closed my eyes, opened my hands and just sat there. I didn't listen to the birds or the cards whizzing by, I consciously asked God to be with me in my silence.
It was the easiest thing and in those very few, very normal minutes, God poured in some creativity I'd been needing. I jotted down a list of a few things to write about--added them to a list that had been dry and empty for weeks before.
Unplugging is great. It's needed. But plugging into our Heavenly Father and His Holy Spirit? Even better. Your quiet times with God will become fill-er-up times so you can pour energy, creativity and love into the other areas in your life.
Family Idea: Literally unplug every electronic item in your house (maybe not the fridge!). Have everyone sit silently and see if they can tell a difference. Is it quieter? Darker? Read Psalm 130:5-6. Then have everyone sit quietly again and listen to the Lord. Discuss what it's like to listen not to the quiet around you but to listen to God. Talk about or write down the things each person felt or heard from the Lord. (Any and all answers are a-ok!) Encourage your kids to spend time everyday waiting quietly before the Lord!
Amanda White is a stay-at-home mom of two who blogs at ohAmanda.com and is the author of Truth in the Tinsel: An Advent Experience for Little Hands. In her former life, Amanda was a Children’s Pastor — overseeing, organizing and developing ministry for kids in nursery through middle school, but now that she is a mom, her “skills” are used up on her kids!
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