Monday, August 12, 2013

Taking a Cell Phone Sabbath

This summer, Sheryl, the kids and I went to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for some rest and relaxation.  Fortunately for me, our cell phones didn't have international coverage.  When the plane began to taxi down the Dallas runway, I turned off the cell phone and kept it on airplane mode for about ten days.

I didn't listen to voice mail.

I didn't read any text messages.

I didn't check my email.

I didn't even check into Facebook.

As the days rolled on, I felt myself unwinding.  I didn't even know I had been tense - at least not consciously.   But as I began to relax, I realized how much I needed to get away.

I love being a pastor.  I love going into the church everyday.  I love visiting with people.  I even love connecting with all of my friends, relatives and colleagues on Facebook.   But I discovered that I also needed to reboot.  Like a computer whose memory has slowed way down, I needed to shut down and start over.

We got to do some of the things that I love such as swim in the ocean.  The surf right outside our hotel was a little rough for snorkeling but the view of Land's End was spectacular.

Kyla (on the right) and I relax in the Sea of Cortez.
Just beyond the rocks is the Pacific Ocean.
One afternoon, I was floating on my back and just being. When your ears are under the water as you float, you can hear the sand moving under you.  To me, it seems as if there are lots of little sea creatures "clicking" beneath me. As I look at the sky above and hear the sounds of the ocean below, it reminds me of how really big our planet is.

To commune with the creation is to know the creator - at least in part.

It reminded me that I'm not indispensable.  Oh, I would be missed for a while but the world is a big place.  An incredibly large part of the universe functions just fine without me and the place I call my home will do the same.  While I intrinsically know this, overtly remembering it tends to take some of the pressure off.

Take a deep breath.

Let it out.

After getting back, I feel that I am functioning at a higher capacity.  God was here with me before I left.  God was with me on the trip and God is still here now that I'm back.  God didn't change but I did.

The call to help people - to make a difference - to offer living water - is still there.  But the anxiety that had built up has dissipated.

I'm reminded of the Gloria Patri:

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.