Saturday, July 19, 2014

Making Space to Choose

And there I was. Sitting in my room. I was about 7:30PM on a weeknight.

And, all of a sudden, I had a choice.

When I departed Haubstadt for Olympia this past May, I put in an audio book CD about how simplicity of life is becoming the new status symbol for businessmen and women. The book is entitled Essentialism, written by Greg McKeown.

McKeown writes about simplifying one’s life in an age where a plethora of choices and 24/7 contact with work and friends overwhelm us to the point of never glimpsing a moment of down-time.  About a week ago, I decided to give disconnecting a try.

I deleted a few social media apps from my phone, the ones that I usually only check when I don’t have something else to do, and moved the remaining social media apps to a group which I know I only use to find contact information or recall how I know this or that person.

Bam! Within 48 hours, I found myself on my way to check my phone to see if I had anything from anyone. I realized there was nothing to check. I also realized all my work was done. I had nothing to do. The strangest thing happened next.

I couldn’t decide what to do. My immediate reaction was to to see if there were any videos to watch, messages to respond to or notifications from others about posts I had shared. I had nothing to do. So, I sat down on the edge of my bed in my quiet room, and I asked myself a question I hadn’t consciously asked myself in some time: “What do you want to do right now?” It was only by removing what I had been doing out of compulsion that I actually had the choice to ask myself what I wanted to do at that moment.

Human freedom is one of the greatest gifts God gave us. God freely chose to create and love us, and He lets us share in his own freedom by giving us freedom of choice: whom to marry, where to live, whether to be kind, and how to spend our time.

What do you find yourself doing out of habit? Are those worthwhile things? Could you benefit from a little disconnecting? Stepping away from our technology—from time to time—might be a good start.

Originally published in the South Gibson Star Times