Hi everyone, Rob here. We’ve recently finished running our very first men’s retreat. It was a blessed time and David and I thank you for your prayers. Part of the power of the weekend came from being unplugged from our modern-day life of technology and convenience. Cell-phones were turned off. There was no hot water, no showers, no flushing toilets. Food was cooked over the fire. The stars shone brightly, the vistas from the hills were spectacular and the cow-pats were everywhere! It felt like sacred space; a protected enclave where God was given permission to work in men’s hearts and reveal himself to them.
As society becomes increasingly dependent on smartphones, social media and wireless hotspots, the need to unplug yourself now and again from the Matrix becomes more and more necessary to a healthy life of the heart. This is not a judgment against technology. I have a smartphone, a facebook page and believe hotspots are great, but my heart does not thrive if those things dominate my world. The fact is that it’s more important for me to be in tune with God’s heart than in tune with the news or the latest tidbits from my friends. In order to do that I need to unplug. And I suggest, so do you.
We’re more addicted to the Matrix than we realise and so we need to fast and pray in order to see its grip on us broken. Our identity doesn’t come from our virtual connections but from our heart connections. In order to ensure that my heart is connected to the heart of God through Christ, I unplug my other connections. I even unplug my family connections, my church connections and friendship connections when the need for time alone with my Father becomes pressing. Sometimes in life there are just too many voices and the One Voice that really matters can get drowned out.
Being unplugged is only for a time though. The goal is to re-connect with life, your loved ones and your community renewed in God’s strength and love and in our true identity as sons and daughters of God. The goal is to love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind and love our neighbour as ourselves. Solitude is not the goal; that quickly becomes loneliness and isolation. Silence is not the goal; that quickly becomes hiding and withdrawal. Heart to heart connection with God and others is the goal. If you’re struggling to love then maybe you need to unplug. It doesn’t need to be for long. 10 minutes at the start of the day or at lunchtime maybe all you need at the moment. I simply encourage you to not burn your connections out! Wake up and slow down as I heard a preacher say once, and take some time to just be with your Father – unplugged.