A DIFFICULT DISCIPLINE

Saturday, September 26, 2015


“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work…” (Ex 20: 8-10)

 

The fourth commandment, regardless of whether I dedicate Saturday or Sunday to the Lord, reminds me of an increasingly difficult discipline. And that is the discipline of finding the proper time (and place) for work and rest. It is increasingly difficult because of the 24/7 culture of the Internet, which has been called “a culture of disruption.” My schedule is easily disrupted by the constant and chaotic flow of information and communication, which is always “on,” as long as I am “connected” to everyone and everywhere online.

 

There is something in my life that particularly counteracts the disorderly time and space of the Internet. And that “something” is liturgy. At church-services, I am exposed to a linear, not chaotic, flow of information, which I am called to contemplate in prayer, together with others, “connecting” with them. And I do so within a specific, physical space of a church. I believe this is why the discipline of church-going is so increasingly difficult and even alien to many of us, immersed in Internet-culture. It is difficult even for people of faith.

 

Today let me ask God for His wisdom and discernment, that I might manage my time according to His will. And let me not dismiss the wisdom of church-going without thinking about it. It offers me a helping hand in the challenges of time-management, when I show up for a church-service, liberated from my phone for a while.

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