I’m convinced that there is a natural rhythm to life, and that modern society violates that rhythm.
For example, the ancient Hebrew scriptures not only called for rest every seven days, they declared that God himself had rested after six days of work. God doesn’t get tired. That was to illustrate something for us.
The scriptures go on to require that the earth be rested every seven years and that every fifty years all debts be cancelled. There was to be not only a natural rhythm to life, but restraints on human ability to mess it up too much.
These days we look to squeeze the maximum economic productivity out of ever possible minute.
And like almost everybody else I float along in our frenetic world, unwilling (perhaps unable) to really rest one day each week; unwilling or unable to enter into the natural rhythm of creation.
But I attended a lecture this weekend that has renewed my desire to try to change. There is just too much damage, spiritual and otherwise, from a refusal to rest. Yet I struggle with figuring out how to truly “rest” without turning that rest into some sort of legalist exercise which will leave me compliant, but restive.
I have decided to start by implementing a techno-sabbath. Like so many in our culture I am addicted to the internet. Every morning I post a blog entry here, read a bunch of other blogs, check and respond to my email messages, read and often post on internet message boards, check all the updates on facebook and often change my “status” there, etc. etc. If something is being discussed on facebook or a message board that interests me, I’ll visit the site frequently during the day, interrupting whatever else I’m doing. And of course I am constantly reaching into my pocket to get my smart phone to check messages, headlines, etc.
That makes for a fragmented day of data, and interrupts whatever natural rhythm I might have otherwise entered.
So, I now resolve to make Saturdays days of techno-sabbath. I will not turn on the computer on Saturday. I will not use my cell phone. I will try to go at least one day a week free from the grip of screens.