Tim Keller “Persons who meditate become people of substance who have thought things out and have deep convictions, who can explain difficult concepts in simple language, and who have good reasons behind everything they do. Many people do not meditate. They skim everything, picking and choosing on impulse, having no thought-out reasons for their behavior. Following whims, they live shallow lives.”
One of the reasons I’m so pharisaical about my phone, email, and social media is because I’ve come to realize the obvious: multitasking is a myth. Literally. Only God is omnipresent. I inhabit a body. A body that can do only one … thing … at … a … time. Multitasking is just sleight of hand for switching back and forth between a lot of different tasks so I can do them all poorly instead of doing one well.
Keep your phone off until after your morning quiet time. The stats are ominous: 75 percent of people sleep next to their phones, and 90 percent of us check our phones immediately upon waking.
My friends at Red Church in Melbourne, Australia, have this saying: “Win the day.” They mean, at the beginning of each day, put your phone on the other side of your house and don’t look at it until after you’ve spent time in devotion to God.
The French sociologist Jean Baudrillard has made the point that in the Western world, materialism has become the new, dominant system of meaning. He argues atheism hasn’t replaced cultural Christianity; shopping has.
Eugene Peterson had a name for a day off; he called it a “bastard Sabbath.” The illegitimate child of the seventh day and Western culture. On a day off you don’t work for your employer (in theory). But you still work. You run errands, catch up around your house or apartment, pay the bills, make an IKEA run (there goes four hours …). And you play! You see a movie, kick the soccer ball with friends, go shopping, cycle through the city. And that’s great stuff, all of it. I love my day off. But those activities don’t make a Sabbath.
Recently I read a survey done by a doctor who cited the happiest people on earth. Near the top of the list was a group of Christians called Seventh-day Adventists, who are religious, literally, about the Sabbath. This doctor noted that they lived ten years longer than the average American.19 I did the math: if I Sabbath every seven days, it adds up to—wait for it—ten years over a lifetime. Almost exactly. So when I say the Sabbath is life giving, that’s not empty rhetoric. If this study is to be believed, every day you Sabbath, you’re (statistically and scientifically) likely to get back an elongated life.
Comer, John Mark. The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to stay emotionally healthy and spiritually alive in the chaos of the modern world . John Murray Press. Kindle Edition.