Unplug.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


On my last day in Chicago I was sitting on a park bench waiting for my flight back home.  Tyler's flight left about 5 hours before mine did so I had a decent amount of time to kill before I needed to head to the airport.  As soon as he left the park where we were hanging out I began making a list of the things I could do to fill my time.  I noticed this crazy anxiety welling up inside of me and all of a sudden I felt a little nudge in my heart saying "Stop! Put your phone away, walk to the edge of that dock over there, and just... be."

Why is that such a hard thing to do?  Why is it that we are always seeking distractions? We try to fill every moment of our lives with something- whether it's a TV show or a to-do list or a text message or a game of angry birds.  We always need to be doing.  Why can't we be content with just being?

I'm making it my goal this Advent season (and beyond) to be more conscious about the distractions I seek.  To not just pull out my phone any time I'm alone (or even when I'm with people- yeesh!) out of habit.  To take intentional "time outs" during my day during which I unplug and just let myself exist without any noise or distractions.   On Sunday I was particularly struck by this quote from Henri Nouwen:


"If we do not wait patiently in expectation for God's coming in glory we start wandering around, going from one little sensation to another. Our lives get stuffed with newspaper items, television stories, and gossip. Then our minds lose the discipline of discerning what leads closer to God and what doesn't, and our hearts lose their spiritual sensitivity."

Do you struggle with constantly needing distractions? What are some ways you find stillness in the midst of a busy life?

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