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Are you feeling always plugged in? Plugged into your smart phone, computer, tablet, text messages, and late breaking news? Do you continually feel on call? Do you have fears of missing out, or what the culture calls, FOMO?

Are you feeling exhausted from information overload, or virtual reality at your actual fingertips? Might it be time to consider unplugging?

Yes, we are passing through an amazing time in human history as technology connects us 24/7 anytime, anywhere throughout the vast global village. We possess unimagined opportunity for communication, for learning, and for spreading God’s Good News to the world. Yet, every day we are discovering more and more the alarming effects of being constantly plugged in. We are finding ourselves increasingly isolated from real-life relationships, disconnected from God and the people who matter most. Perhaps it is God saying to us, “Put down your phone and listen to me!”

In a sense, we might say that David was fortunate. He was not always on call and available to others. He passed a lot of time in the wilderness, hiding in caves and tending sheep on lonely Judean hills. This meant that David had generous time for prolonged prayer, reflection, and being still in God’s presence. Read David’s many psalms and see that it was during these times that David grew in nurturing a deep relationship with God, pursuing the ‘one thing’ while honing his skills as a prophet and poet. David knew what it meant to ‘unplug’ from distractions and to ground his life in God.

Could it be that God is not the only person saying to us, “Put down your phone and listen to me!” As Christians have long practiced fasting from food to pursue spiritual renewal and cleansing, so we need to occasionally ‘fast’ from technology. We need to digitally detox.

Prayerfully consider the following ways the Holy Spirit might be calling you to unplug and to be freed:

• Set aside one day a week, or even several hours a day, to unplug from the internet, television, X/Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

• Create a physical space in your home where you put aside your phone, tablet, and computer. This will be a way of saying to others, “I am present to you.” Those devices might even remain there all night unless there is some “good reason” to access them.

• Listen for God first thing in the morning, rather than TV news, radio, or phone messages.

• Set aside times to simply allow yourself to listen to the silence as you drive in the car rather than listening to talk radio or music.

• Go for a walk. Read a poem. Talk to your spouse or friend.

• Allow yourself real Sabbath rest rather than ‘Sabbath catch-up’!

Discover how wonderfully God keeps His world going while you unplug!

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