Richard's Ramblings

Unplugged Pastor

By Richard Horton

I've been thinking about how to unplug from the world. There are just so many challenges to this. In so many ways, I am always available to anyone, at anytime. This is mainly due to social media. It's also because of the way that I am. Even when we go on holiday's, I feel available.

In the Bible, particularly Matthew 14:13-14 we find Jesus trying to find some personal space after he hears of his cousin John the Baptist's beheading. On the way, he saw a huge crowd and had compassion on them. It was a gut wrenching feeling of needing to help them. It wasn't a head thing. It wasn't even a heart thing. It was a deep, deep feeling that he needed to help.

I get that. I understand that passage of the bible (probably far too well for my own good). Even when I have nothing to give, when I am completely spent, I experience that gut wrenching desire to help someone I come in contact with. I find myself putting on my pastor's hat without even thinking. I find myself wanting to listen, wanting to give, wanting to heal. One of my father in-laws favourite sayings is that our greatest strength is often our greatest weakness. It's not in the Bible but I reckon if I had the chance to, I'd make sure it got there! That deep gut wrenching desire to help is a gift and a strength. The ability to forgo my own self for a period of time, is a strength. It becomes a weakness when I try to satisfy that desire immediately. My weird compulsion about having no notifications on my phone doesn't help either, although I'm sure some psychotherapy should be able to resolve that one! It becomes a weakness when it takes away from my own health.

Part of my ongoing plan for some peace and also to break my technology addiction is to only keep certain apps on my phone and delete them from my ipad. All my social media will go across to my phone. All of my other communication technology will be on my phone. My Ipad will become my reading and games device. That way, I can put my phone in the tray with my keys when I get home and only check it when it suits. Doesn't mean I won't check it. It just means that I am getting back my ability to choose when I connect. I can also do some reading without being distracted by the desire to connect.

Let's call this step 1 of my breaking my technology addition.

Richard Horton

Shepparton, Victoria