A rest… from screens

Writer Lettie Cowman tells about a traveler who visited Africa and used a group of guides and carriers to carry their supplies as they hiked and explored.

On the first day she was impressed because they went a huge distance. But the next day the carriers refused to move. The leader said that on the first day they had traveled too far too fast. As a result they were now waiting for their souls to catch up to their bodies.

How many of us are living lives where we feel the same way—that our souls need to catch up to our bodies!

As you know, I’ve been writing about rest. About how vital it is. And about how neglected it is. In Mark 6:31 Jesus saw all the activity flustering around the disciples and said: “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” He knew they needed to rejuvenate if they were to be effective in what they had to do.

So I’ve been offering some advice about rest in our modern lives. Today my suggestion is to create boundaries for screen time.

Something we often fail to realize about how we consume media is the extent to which it stimulates our brains. In many situations it can keep our brains on high-alert even though we’re trying to relax.

So during the time you’ve set aside to rest, why not turn your phone off for a certain period of time. Maybe don’t check email before 8am or after 6pm. Perhaps don’t check social media when you’re with your family on an outing. Or maybe sub-out a TV show for a board game or pick-up match of baseball.

Many of the forms of technology around us are so new and so powerful that we still don’t know all of their effects—either positive or negative.

So as we learn how to rest, set boundaries for screen time.

People who know when to disconnect are often the ones who know when to connect to what matters most when it really matters. 

By Matthew Ruttan

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