Get Connected by Disconnecting (a Luminous Friday prayer exercise)
What do you do when you’re waiting in line? The first thing I do – and what most people apparently do too – is reach for the cellphone. I have a smartphone, so at any time I can pull the whole world out of my back pocket and access it in a moment. Email, texts, phone messages, social media, websites, news updates – it’s all there. Why stand in line doing nothing?
Have you ever thought about what a complete shift this is in our day-to-day existence? Never before has anything remotely resembling this lifestyle been possible. It is so new to human history that we don’t fully realize how it is affecting us.
One thing we do know is that spiritually speaking, being constantly connected isn’t good for us. Information is good to have. Information about God is great to have. The problem is, we can make information – even information about God – into our favorite hiding place from God.
Instead of interacting with the God we need, we gobble up information we don’t need.
If you know Jesus, you can guess that he isn’t down with Infogluttonous God-avoidance among his followers. Jesus is for full engagement. For this reason… and because we are in the middle of Lent… and because during March my Friday posts will be out of chapter three of Luminous (Being Present with God)… I propose the following prayer exercise:
Take 10 minutes to assess honestly and prayerfully your attachment to information and use of electronic devices. Are you Inflogluttonous? Do you tend to be an Attention-Deficit Christian? Let God speak to you about those issues. What action might he want you to take? Consider going on an information fast where you “unplug” for a day or longer and spend that time connecting with God. (Luminous, 59)
Can’t do a full day? How about a couple of hours or a half day? Make it long enough to feel the fast, and give God enough quiet space to speak to you. I bet you will be glad you did.
Note: Throughout 2014, my Friday posts will be excerpts and thoughts from Luminous: Living the Presence and Power of Jesus (IVP, 2013). My hope is that these posts launch you into the weekend in a Jesus-centered way.