BY HANNAH STAPLETON, GRACE ATTENDER
Sometimes I forget that taking a Sabbath day, a day to rest and step away from work, is one of the Ten Commandments. When God was giving the Israelites the TL:DR (too long; didn’t read) version of His law, He stuck together not murdering people (good), not lying (also good), and taking time to rest. Sabbathing is important to God and too often I forget about it.
Sabbathing is about more than just lounging in your pajamas all day (though no shame). When God took the first Sabbath after creation, he wasn’t just browsing through Netflix. He reveled in the goodness of His work. He enjoyed His labor. He was still.
To me, when I Sabbath, I should be able to fully step away from the things that pull away from God. Quiet time with my husband – brings me closer to God. Kitten snuggles and a book about people/experiences new to me – brings me closer to God. Scrolling through Facebook for an hour – not so much. The distraction that comes with my phone isn’t God-honoring. It doesn’t allow me to look around at the creation that God has given me.
Taking a Sabbath from our screens and technology is important. We need to take time away from the emotional labor of our screen to look at what God has placed around us. Because let’s face it: technology makes it hard for us to use it in healthy way! It’s set up to make us addiction and dependent. And I only want to be dependent on God. When I’m on my phone, it’s easy to slip into patterns of comparison/jealousy and detachment from those I care about.
So I’m taking the No-Screen challenge. It’s going to be hard. I’ll want to text my mom or post a cute picture of my cats, or even just scroll through social media as I slowly wakeup. But I know that instead of feeding my addition, I’ll be feeding my relationship with Christ. I’ll pursuing the things that restore me and renew me, instead of the things that leave me empty inside.
All God wants is for me to stop. Look up. Look out. Rest in what He has given me. To be still. To Sabbath.
Questions for Reflection:
What would it look like to have a weekly No Screen day?
What is God nudging you to pay attention to instead of screens?
How can Sabbathing strengthen your relationship with God?