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Sabbath Unplugged

Sabbath Unplugged
Americans are becoming more and more tethered to their work on weekends. Workaholism is on the rise—and technology seems to be hurting our cause instead of helping. According to the Center for American Progress, the typical family works an average of 11 hours more per week than it did 20 years ago. Sociologists now say that these extended work hours are taking a toll on minds, bodies, and relationships.

In a must-read piece called “24/7: The case for a day of rest in a digital age,” Mark Kellner writes for the Deseret News that “with the increasing ubiquity of devices such as smartphones and laptops, Americans may be connected to their jobs and work lives more than ever before; “tethered” is the word often used to describe the 24/7 circumstances in which we find ourselves.”

Kellner shares the story of Caitlin Rother, a 20-year veteran newspaper reporter who was fed up with long hours and late night interruptions to her sleep. But in her new work as a freelance writer, she began working long hours for days at a time until the pressure affected her health. In response to her crisis, she now diligently observes a Sabbath day of rest to recharge and refresh.

What about you? How can you get “unplugged” from work so that you might fully receive the blessing of the work week and the Sabbath rest as God intended? You might begin by literally unplugging yourself from technology. Shut down the laptop and avoid the hypnotizing call of the smartphone for at least a few hours. You might even need to turn off your phone to be freed from the obsession of checking the news, browsing the web, visiting social media sites, and even taking a peek at your work email during the Sabbath.

If you really want to experience rest, you need to put away materials that pull your mind away from God and toward the secular. Perhaps the best way to get unplugged is to go to church and worship the Lord. Take a real Bible with you and leave your phone at home or in the car. Spend time fellowshipping face-to-face with other Christians. Go for a nature walk. Better yet—focus on the needs of others and not advancing your own.

What do you need to do this Sabbath to get unplugged from the world and enjoy God’s day of rest? Let us know what you think in the comments below. Would you like to know more? Check out “Seize the Day: Keeping the Sabbath Holy.”