Susan Maushart felt so concerned when she saw that her three teenagers were so connected that they were actually disconnected. “They don’t remember a time before e-mail, or instant messaging, or Google… Like so many teens, they couldn’t do their homework without simultaneously listening to music, updating Facebook and trading instant messages. If they were amused, instead of laughing, they actually said ‘LOL’ aloud. Her girls had become mere ‘accessories of their own social-networking profile, as if real life were simply a dress rehearsal (or more accurately, a photo op) for the next status update.’” (Source: Associated Press)

So, she decided to pull the plug. After turning off the electricity for six weeks, the entire family had no Internet, no TV and no other gadgets such as cell phones and iPods even when she turned on the power again. Susan admits that it was not due to sheer parental authority. She planned to write a book—eventually, she wrote it—about their unplugged lives. She confessed that she bribed her children with a cut offer from the royalties if they would agree to what they dubbed as “The Experiment.” But it paid off more than what she expected. Her youngest daughter’s grades went up significantly. His son discovered a new interest in music. After six unplugged months, “she and her kids rediscovered small pleasures—like board games, books, lazy Sundays, old photos, family meals and listening to music together instead of everyone plugging into their own iPods.” (Ibid) According to Susan, all her kids “awoke slowly from the state of cognitus interruptus that had characterized many of their waking hours to become more focused logical thinkers.” (Ibid)

Of course, that seems too radical for those us who check our mobile phones the moment we open our eyes in the morning or whose idea of a break is checking Facebook status updates. Yet, solitude is the Bible’s idea all along. “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.” (Psalm 62:5, ESV) Having a silent moment is like a speed bump on the road. It paces us so that we could slow down and enjoy the view. It keeps us safe and sane from the mad rush that we get into nowadays. Other than unplugging the laptop or the TV, we must also plug in to God. When praying, don’t sprint to your list of requests. Pause and reflect on God’s Word. Enjoy His presence. Psalm 46:10 commands us, Be still, and know that I am God.”

Brethren, pull the plug.


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