Women's Christian Podcast

The Power of Resting Off the Grid: Three Lessons Learned

Have you ever completely shut down and gone “off the grid” for some time?

 

Maybe you went on a vacation and left social media apps on your phone, but you really worked hard not to click on them. You were intentional to not pick up your phone and post a picture or see what was going on in the rest of the world.

Have you ever taken the step to delete the apps off of your phone so that you could completely shut down?

Recently, I went on retreat in Costa Rica and decided to go off the grid by deleting all social media apps from my phone.

From the minute I arrived at the airport to leave, until 2 days after I returned, I unplugged.

I went. I saw. I rested.

 

Besides honoring the true meaning of Sabbath – to rest and allow God to be God in every facet of my life and business – I was surprised at what I learned in going off the grid. Three big lessons in fact. I believe these will resonate with you too, my high-achieving sister in Christ!

 

But let’s start at the beginning.

When we set our intentions on night one of the retreat, I shared with the group that Psalm 46:10 says “Be still and know that I am God,” and my intention was to be still and savor His presence.

Be still as in follow His schedule, not the retreat schedule.

Sit quietly and sometimes alone to savor His voice.

Be still as in stop picking up the phone to check on whatever is happening online (yes, He even directed me to delete all social media apps for the week so I wouldn’t be tempted!).

So I did.

And it was challenging, sometimes lonely, very quiet and yet so beautiful.

From that experience, I brought home these three lessons:

1. Shutting down is a challenge, and a lesson in overachievement.

Because I’m most comfortable being in motion, and I’m pretty social, I learned that in shutting down, I still have some layers of overachievement for the Lord to prune. Shutting down means surrender, and that included not following the retreat schedule but instead following His One evening after a spa treatment, I walked into the dining room where the other women were seated for dinner. And as my friends were waving me over to sit with them, the Lord said, “Go sit by yourself. Eat in silence. I am your dinner guest tonight.”

I had questions: “I’m social, and you want me to sit alone, Lord?  You want me to “not conform to the ways of this world” and the trend to go find a friend and sit with them?” Yes. And it gets better.

 

2. Silence is golden – and it amplifies the Lord’s voice.

There are many quips about listening for the still, small voice of God. Yet I found that in silence, His volume turned up. And when I say silence, I mean no music, no audiobooks, no podcasts. I sat and colored (when was the last time you colored?) with only the sound of my gel marker filling in the flower on the page. And the feeling of Holy Spirit’s voice speaking to me.

That same night at dinner when He said, “Eat in silence and enjoy my company,” it was uncomfortable! Until I sat and chewed slowly, savored every course and every bite (and every sip of a delicious red wine). It was the best meal of the trip!

 

3. I’m over reaching for my phone, and overreaching edges Jesus out.

I discovered how much I unconsciously reach for my phone within a single hour. Because I had no social media on my phone, and I had no reason to check texts or emails all.day.long., I quickly realized my addiction, and how that time spent mindlessly checking my phone edged the Lord out! I could better use those moments to pray, read His Word, and be still with Him.

You know, like spending time with a best friend. That’s what He is!

Upon my return, I’ve experienced the discomfort of feeling out of touch by staying off social media as much as possible. It was easier while away, but back to my business mode of operation, it is really strange to not be online all the time. But I know this is simply the growth that happens after pruning. And I’m committed to sticking to it.

Here’s the takeaway:

Rest doesn’t require a plane ticket. There are moments of Sabbath throughout your day, waiting for you to experience the Lord! And you can find these moments through these actions:

  • Let the Lord direct your schedule – every moment of it – and be obedient
  • Get quiet (even silent) to hear Him
  • Put down your phone and stop scrolling, get quiet (even silent)

It will feel uncomfortable at first, even if you feel the peace that comes from it. But I promise it will change everything for you!

Two audio books that were tremendously helpful last week:

The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan

Sacred Rest by Saundra Dalton-Smith

I pray my lessons open your eyes to blind spots around rest!

 

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