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The Discipline of Not Doing
Practicing rest in a restless world
In today's constantly connected world, true rest can feel impossible to find. Our devices keep us tethered to work, social media, and the 24/7 news cycle. Quiet moments are filled by checking emails or scrolling through our feeds.
As Christians, rest is an important but often overlooked spiritual discipline. God instructs us to set aside time for rest and renewal. But how do we practice Sabbath rest in our wired world? Here are a few ideas:
Take a social media sabbath.
Set aside one day per week to take a break from all social apps on your phone. IF you just twitched a bit, you really need to do this! Disable notifications so you won't be tempted to "just check." Use that time instead for time in nature, prayer, reading Scripture or just a fiction or non-fiction work that gives you rest and encourages thoughts of the Divine.
Schedule tech-free chunks of time.
Whether it's an evening, a weekend morning or a weeklong vacation, regularly disconnect from technology altogether. Protect that time as sacred space to hear from God and let your mind rest from constant input.
Replace mindless scrolling with contemplation.
Whenever you catch yourself automatically reaching for your phone, pause. Take a few deep breaths and recenter your thoughts on God. Ask Him for guidance and perspective beyond the noise.
Rest in God's presence, not productivity (or entertainment.)
During your times of intentional rest, disengage your “getting things done” muscle and your “I must be entertained” muscle. Focus on simply being with the Lord. Delight in Him. Listen to worship music. Go for a reflective walk. Have a conversation with Him.
God wired us for true rest.
Even in the creation account in Genesis, after six days of work, God rested. And we are made in His image! Though technology offers many benefits, it also threatens to overload our lives. As image bearers of God, we must steward technology wisely so it supports rather than hinders our rest in the Lord. What practices help you find rest in our wired world? How can we encourage one another to unplug from noise and reconnect with God? I’d love to hear in the comments!