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January 26th, 2018 by Stephen Bauman

I need a break. You likely do too. A break from the news/info maelstrom frothed up for us every morning and evening, well, all time in between too. It comes at us relentlessly, crashing in on consciousness, devouring valuable real estate in our attention library. It’s hard to shake.

Periodically I recognize addictive patterns have formed and I must cease and desist from feeds and apps. I must shut down the net, sit quietly for at least 10 minutes, longer if I’m able, although sometimes that’s hard when the fix is on my brain.

This takes conscious, intentional effort. Like an alcoholic walking into an AA meeting, I must admit my powerlessness to switch it off, since the adrenalin and endorphins fight to be fed. I need to let go…

Admit that from time to time you share this dis-ease: The more stuff that’s thrown at you, the less intelligent you become, the less nuanced and reflective, the more tribal and reactive.

Try this on: After finishing this short missive, shut down whatever device you’ve read it on and attempt my discipline of sitting quietly for at least 10 minutes, longer if you can. At first, you may need a timer of some sort so you don’t capitulate too soon. Find or create a quiet space. (Even on the subway.) Turn off tunes and tube and backlit screens. Free your mind.

Let God enter consciousness. Give God the space that is normally occupied by the trashy mishegoss streaming through your news/info/ad feeds. It will take some effort. You will resist. But do it anyway because you know it’s the right thing for your mental, spiritual, and emotional health.

Having done it once, develop this discipline for every day, throughout the day.

Good luck.

Remember, grace abounds.

Stephen Bauman

Rev. Dr. Stephen P. Bauman is the Senior Minister at Christ Church.