Can You Give This 1 Day To God?

After our sabbath services last Friday, a member of my congregation approached me at the social reception where we visit with each other and enjoy sumptuous desserts.

She proudly said she was observing National Unplugged Sabbath, a project designed to help hyper-connected people embrace the ancient ritual of a day of rest.

She was, she said, resisting using her cell phone from Friday evening to Saturday evening, and she expected the unplugging would be tough.

I nodded my approval though I had no idea what she was talking about.

After a little bit of research — using technology I might add — I came upon the San Francisco-based Koret Foundation. The group helped declare March 6-7 as National Unplugged Sabbath.

The goal was to slow us all down on the Sabbath and encourage, at least initially, Jewish people, to let go of gadgets and focus on the practices that bring us closer to each other, God and the world around us.

The project asked participants to avoid technology for one day and instead connect with loved ones, nurture their health, get outside, avoid commerce, find silence and give back.

I was stunned by the comments on the website by those who felt constrained, dependent or even addicted to technology.

Many young professionals said that dependency had begun to impact their ability to relate to people and had even diminished their capacity to do simple things like read a book or focus on listening to others speak.

Christians and Muslims wrote about how they, too, felt enslaved by the gizmos that keep us connected to the world and how difficult it was to let go for just twenty-four hours.

Most, though, said that brief letting go was a blessing in the end.

I am as addicted to — and afflicted by — technology as everyone else. These devices sometimes feel like the electronic bracelets criminals are ordered to wear so the police know where they are at all times.

The project’s goal is a good one.

Should we take a break — even a brief one — from technology for the sake of the Sabbath whether it occurs on Friday, Saturday or Sunday?

We should.

Whether you are Jewish, Christian or Muslim, everyone needs to refresh their spirits on that day. Why else did God command us to create that sacred time once a week?

We should not let technology turn us into beasts of burden.

We should ask ourselves if texting, emailing and surfing the web during worship service sound like the right thing to do.

We should ask ourselves if we can learn to slow down for twenty-four hours and restore a connectivity with our inner life.

The human spirit and the genius to invent things to better our world is a blessing.

It is up to us to use such inventions wisely! God has graciously given us all so much, can’t you give Him
at least 1 day whereas you focus on Him, His word and prayer.

written by Rabbi Brad L. Bloom

Want to give God this day to God? If so, join us in this simple prayer;

Dear God, please forgive me for being glued to technology and being constantly absent from you by
giving my time and attention to my electronic gadgets…I do want to set aside this day or a day to
get alone and meet with you. I want to pour out my heart to you and I invite you in my life to share with me what’s on your mind and your heart however you feel led to do so. I may forget that I made this
promise, so I ask that you gently remind me to spend alone time with you. The world will never be able
to satisfy me, meet my needs, my wants and desires like you can. You are a good Father, worthy of my
time, my attention and my devotion, forgive me for putting my gadgets first, in Jesus name I ask and pray – Amen!