Dare Number 1

I'm browsing the Fall issue of Biola Magazine and very much drawn to Brett McCracken's lead article "Prayer for Generation Tweet" (http://www.biola.edu/news/biolamag/articles/09fall/coverstory.cfm). Give it a read--it highlights some of the spiritual side-effects of being wired 24/7. Because of the fast-paced, frenetic culture of instant, constant communication, disciplines like silence, solitude, and prayer are becoming rarities--particularly for the younger generations. According the the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, younger people (ages 18-29) are the least likely group of American adults to pray on a daily basis, while older folks (65+) are the most likely to pray. McCracken names the issue: "In our hectic, 21st century world, some wonder whether many Christians are able to pray at length anymore--or even feel the need to. In our networked, hyperactive world of technological busybodies, God is most definitely still listening. But are we still praying?"

More and more I'm wondering if we need a little time each week to live "unplugged". Can we take a day, a morning, an afternoon, or an evening and turn off the screens? I'm doing this on my day off each week, purposely not checking email (definitely not work email) and also trying not to surf the web. It feels odd, honestly, but also good. So...Dare Number 1: Will you take the challenge and set some regular time in your week to unplug--and consider using part of that time to renew your relationship with God in prayer? Let me know if you attempt this--and what it's like for you.


Karen McBride said...

There's something very freeing about turning off the screens. It allows the spirit to expand and breathe. I just ran into a related post, "How and Why I Ditched my Inbox," at http://zenhabits.net/2009/07/killing-email-how-and-why-i-ditched-my-inbox/ -- I think the loss of silence and solitude you refer to is something we need to take seriously. I've begun to think in terms of junk communication, right up there with junk food as a social challenge.

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