The Protestant work ethic has combined with the Internet and roaming devices like the iPad to fill our lives with work. I no longer have to work from 9 till 5! I can start at 4.00am, and I can work till midnight. I can be at home, shopping, on holiday, with the grand-kids and I can log into my College network and do some work. One of my tasks is to administer Moodle – the College’s on-line learning system. I was out in the bush photographing ospreys when I received a phone call asking for help. “Just a minute`,” I replied, logged into Moodle on my iPad and fixed the problem on the spot. (“Why did you have an iPad with you?” I hear you ask. It has all my bird photographs and notes on it.)
Sabbath is often no different. We are no longer a three hymns, a prayer, an offering and a 40 minute sermon church. We have to have serious multimedia. We have not used a hymnbook for about 20 years in our church – and songs are displayed carefully illustrated. Sermons are no longer complete unless they have a videoclip rather than the simple illustrative story. This is all very engaging, but it does take time and effort and, for the creative types among us, it often means that our work continues into the Sabbath hours. Some of us even extend our Sabbath/work activities by helping to run Sabbath School Net email lists during the week as well as our work responsibilities!
Jesus said, “Come apart and rest awhile!” For some of us those words should be considered a command! Our lifestyle – even well intended – is often causing us stress and we do need to take time to ensure that we can unwind. Stress in one of the most serious problems many of us face. And the time has come to take some serious steps to manage it.
PS If you really want to see what I do to relax have a look at www.flicker.com/ashphot. Bird photography is one of the best ways of relaxing that I know. You have to run by the bird timetable, not your own!