Saturday, December 23, 2006

Computer Sabbath

Two things happened when I was in the eighth grade that greatly affected the rest of my life to this point:
1. My last sibling (my brother) left home for college.
2. My parents got me a personal computer for Christmas.

Another tidbit that would be pertinent to the point of this post would be that I was always the guy in school who had a lot of acquaintance friendships, but few, if any, good and lasting "let's go out this weekend" friendships.

So finding myself an only child, with few friends from school, and a nice computer in my room, I began to spend decent amounts of time on the computer...

...and I haven't stopped since. Twelve years (almost half of my life) later, I spend several hours a day most days on the computer. Lots of the time, I am quite productive. Lots of the time, I am very unproductive.

The computer has led me to some glorious things - I am quite adept with a number of computer programs that greatly add to my life and my ministry and with a wealth of information, history, pictures, music, and even surface friendships at the push of my fingertips, I have been a better person because of the computer.

But the computer has also led me to some vices - from a hard-gripping addiction to pornography, to a lesser-hurtful but worthy-of-notice addiction to games, to some fruitless and needless web browsing, I have been a worse person because of the computer.

So I am beginning some personal sabbaths from the computer. I will try it out beginning tomorrow evening, sundown on Christmas Eve, through sundown on New Year's Eve. Although a few of these days will be "vacation" days and it will be easy to stay away from the computer, being with family, I will return to a regularly-scheduled program later in the week, so it will be difficult to fill the four-eight hours I usually spend in front of a computer screen. It will also be difficult (though not really) to complete normal tasks that I now rely on the computer for (sermon preparation, worship folder making, and other tasks that I regularly complete in the church week).

I don't expect everyone to understand what I'm doing. But as I replace this time in my life - just for a week - with even more of what I want to do (reading, prayer, family, visiting people in my NSCC community), I hope that I am a better person.

I'll catch ya on the flip side.

Merry Christmas and may you and I both find Christ even more in the New Year.

F&TC,
- J

2 comments:

  1. thats a long sabbath man! when you coming back?

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  2. I am also having a hard time with my dependence on this/these machines. When I think about my computer crashing, breaking or exploding, it frightens me how much it...frightens me. Does that make sense?
    Also now that I am (what I like to call, "inter-netted") using the computer to do ALL of my communicating, I can't imagine what I would do without it. A Sabbath is a great idea. Gambatte! (good luck or do your best)

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