The Crusader Online

September 28, 2007
Vol. 49 No. 4

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The Chaplain's Corner

This summer, I sent an email to an acquaintance I had not seen for several years and immediately received a message from his Out-of-Office Assistant.

The message read, "Thank you for your email. In an effort to reduce the digital distractions in my life, I am observing every Wednesday as a Cyber Sabbath. My computer, cell phone, iPod, Blackberry, Wii, TV, CD and DVD players are all turned off for 24 hours. If you need to reach me in an emergency, my land line still works, and I do answer the door. Otherwise, I will respond to your email Thursday or soon thereafter. Have a good day."

I found my own reaction to this message almost as intriguing as the message itself. I was simultaneously annoyed that I would have to wait for a response, amazed that anyone could cut the digital umbilical cord with such apparent aplomb and envious of the freedom such surgical separation had won for this individual.

When Jesus observed that legalistic observance of Sabbath laws was diminishing humanity, he reminded his followers that the Sabbath was made for humankind, not humankind for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27).

In 2007, the question is whether slavish attachment to digital devices similarly diminishes our humaneness. If so, one conceivable cure for what ails us could be a Cyber Sabbath.

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