Lent emphasizes spiritual disciplines. For example, Christians are encouraged to “give something up” for Lent as a way to make room for God. Fasting has been a spiritual practice for centuries. People forsake food (either totally or some favorite like chocolate or coffee) for a period of time so that they can more intentionally focus on loving God and loving the neighbor.
This Lent I am modifying the practice of fasting to being “unplugged.” I plan to disconnect from all forms of computerized information on Fridays during Lent. No e-mail, no Facebook, no blog, no texting on Friday, my normal day off. I plan to use the time for prayer, reading and reflection. A colleague of mine, Rich Melheim, is recommending a techfast breakfast, staying unplugged each morning. Such practices could also strengthen our creativity.
Jon Burg wrote on his blog regarding our need to unplug,
You, me and everyone else in the room knows that when you are answering emails on your mobile you aren’t really present. Your kids know it. Your co-workers know it. Your clients know it. Your spouse knows it. You know it. I’ve come to terms with this in my own life.
But I recently had a deeper insight. When I am always plugged-in to a device, I am not really present in my own life. I don’t enjoy my life as much when I live in the half-present. Not only does constant connectivity lessen my enjoyment of life, it distracts me from achieving the creative goals I set out for myself. The brain needs mindless time to reflect. This is why we come up with our best ideas in the shower.
I guarantee that if there were a tv screen in the shower, we would draw less inspiration from the shower experience. Who knows what major works of art, creativity and innovation would be lost.
You can read his whole article here
Part of the Lenten tradition of 40 day is based on Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness, a time of fasting and prayer, (Luke 4:1-2). I am pretty sure Jesus was also “unplugged” the whole time.
What spiritual practices are you embracing this Lent?
Lord Jesus, guide me into deeper devotion to you.