Lenten Devotional – March 11, 2023

Saturday, March 11, 2023
Four Thousand Weeks – Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman
Lenten Devotional by Georgie Bever

“So it is:  we are not given a short life, but we made it short . . .”
Seneca, On the shortness of Life
As quoted in Four Thousand Weeks – Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman

Have you ever seen a family in a restaurant waiting for their food and all of them were staring at their cell phones?  Have you ever been the family in a restaurant waiting for your food, and all of you were staring at your cell phones? Why bother to go out for a meal if you aren’t interested in the people you are having the meal with? What a waste of time and money.

As you prepare to learn to actually celebrate the Sabbath as it was intended, give thought to what distracts you from life.  Oliver Burkeman in Four Thousand Weeks – Time Management for Mortals discussed one of the alternatives to pulling out the cell phones when we should be enjoying each other’s company.  He proposes that having a conversation, especially with the extended family, is frightening to many of us.  It causes us anxiety.  One teenager explained to his mom that he used his cell phone so he would look “busy” and the relatives wouldn’t ask him questions he didn’t want to answer.

But does that explain why the couple in the restaurant are both staring at their cell phones?  Sort of.  We have forgotten how to have conversations.  Or is it that we have been taught not to have conversations?  Have you ever sat with a toddler and had them talk to you almost non-stop using gibberish?  Or it sounds like gibberish to you, but you shake your head yes and respond and hug them.  Younger children will ask you why?  Or pester you with “what is that?”  Or “how does that work?”  But by the time they are teenagers, it is very difficult to have a conversation with them.  Why?  What have we done to “teach” them not to have a conversation with us?  And it goes downhill from there. 

As we take a hard look at our 4,000 Sabbaths, can you look back on the ones you’ve already lived and say, “Gee, I wish I had played more video games.”  OR “I wish I’d spent more time on Facebook.”  Rather, I think I’m sad that I didn’t have more conversations with my friends.  I’m sad I didn’t take more walks in the mountains or at the seashore.  I’m sad I didn’t sit in a garden and thank my Father for the beauty of his creation.  But we can turn that around.  We still have some of those Sabbaths left.  I hope you’ll join with me in focusing our efforts on really celebrating that truly awesome gift from God – The Sabbath.

Prayer thoughts:
Have a conversation with the Creator of the Sabbath about how you want to learn his will for your Sabbath experiences.  Take time to think about what distracts you from really experiences God’s gifts.

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