Photograph of a City

“I just don’t have enough time in my day to get everything done!”  Have you ever had this thought? Do you have this thought regularly? Daily?
If so, you’re not alone. In fact, 53% of Americans polled in a recent survey reported “feeling overwhelmed!”

Many, myself included, believe that the easy access to news, information, and social media that has developed in the last 25 years since the Internet became ubiquitous, has overloaded our circuits beyond our natural capacity.  Prior to the Internet and mobile phones, the amount of information and entertainment the average person could ingest was limited by one’s ability to read printed text. Absorbing information via the written word is self-limiting, because our bodies and eyes tend to tire long before our brains reach “information overload.”

In addition, reading a book is less taxing than “browsing the web” for the same amount of time, because the information in the book is structured and organized, whereas the Internet can present information on a wide range of disorganized (and often disturbing) topics with much greater ease.
True, television and radio have been with us for decades before the Internet was invented, and those media introduced an increased level of information availability.  Still, you wouldn’t be reading this email if it weren’t for the availability of the Internet! Yet the exponential growth of information availability, and its ability to be delivered in a highly personalized package (social media) is something altogether new in the Internet Age.

On this Sabbath, let me suggest taking time to unplug for some period of time.  Turn off the electronics for an hour, two hours, half-a-day, or perhaps all day, and devote that time to something uplifting.  Try reading a good book, listening to good music, talking with someone you love, or simply spending a little quiet time alone.

The Sabbath is a great reset button in our week, placed there by God to provide an opportunity for rest and holy contemplation.  It isn’t necessary to spend the day hermit-like in your cell, reading your Bible alone in the dim light. However, it is a day that should look and feel different from the other days of the week.  If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, let me suggest reducing your normal intake of information and social media by some degree. Back away from the cares of life and of the World’s troubles, and enjoy the peace the Sabbath offers to every willing heart.

Shalom!