The last 24 hours I made a commitment not to allow any digital distractions, which included smart phone, computer and television (and everything those gadgets had to offer). TV is never an issue for me, but the computer and the phone detox were an interesting experience for me, so much so that I want to challenge myself like this every week!
When we 'detox' from something it already implies that those things bring a certain level of toxicity and cluster into our lives. Those are the things that take out time and distract us from things that could be far more beneficial and fulfilling. The absence of something that is toxic makes you, first of all, realise how much time is lost or wasted doing it and, secondly, appreciate the other activities that are far better for your soul.
This morning when I woke up instead of turning on the worship or listening to Joyce, as I often do when I get ready for church, I got ready in silence. I had the urge to occupy my time and that silence with something and had the urge to pick up my iPhone, but I resisted the temptation. Instead, I allowed my mind rest. Although I already enjoy my own company, the silence made it a lot more pronounced and in that silence I sensed God's presence even more than when the worship music or a message is playing. It was almost like being 'naked', stripped away from all the 'noise'.
Driving in the car with one of the young girls who spent the weekend with me and who also took on the challenge (brave girl!), we ended up talking and I realised how much more she began to open up. Last night we had a sit-down dinner together and just talked - it really is incredible sometimes to learn so much about another human being and how their mind is thinking. This morning, there was this sense of being comfortable in sharing the silliest and also the most honest things. For both of us it felt like we can just be ourselves. It made me realise how much the 'noise' of life really robs us of these moments of realness in our relationships. When we do shed those distractions - how much more we can be ourselves and how much more we can share of our true selves with those we are close to.
As the day progressed, there were some 'automatic' urges to pick up the phone and check what was up...but as I resisted the temptation of doing that, I was a lot more present and it was good in the sense of spending more quality time with people that were around me and having meaningful conversations with them. However, as I became more and more present it also revealed some things I realised I was running away from. They were thoughts and feelings that became more pronounced as if calling for my attention to address them. Today, as a result of this detox, I was able to begin to give my attention to those thoughts and gain more clarity.
The other thing it helped me realise is the value of any detox - physical, mental or spiritual. Whatever area that we need to get more clarity on or perhaps an area we need to focus attention on - doing a fast or a detox is extremely helpful and beneficial. Cleansing oneself from distraction and toxins of any kind can really help see clearly into oneself, examine our own hearts and pay attention to areas we need to realign with God's will, unclogging those spiritual arteries from confusion and clutter that causes us to not see clearly. Many times it challenges us because this also means taking the responsibility for the change that we want to see, but that change is so worth it. Un-cluttering and detoxing our lives should take place as often as possible. Doing the digital detox challenge revealed and taught me a lot...