I recently traveled to Europe for nine days. When I travel overseas, I completely disconnect. My cell phone doesn’t work internationally, and I don’t bring along my laptop. For nine glorious days, I was completely “unplugged.”
This is the second time I have traveled to Europe and stayed “unplugged” the entire time. After both trips, I returned home with a different perspective. I managed to hold onto it last year for several weeks. However, when I learned that my son needed major back surgery, I returned to my former way of viewing my life. This time, I am determined not to lose my (twice over) newfound perspective.
When I am “unplugged” in Europe, my days seem to last three times as long … in a good way. This is because I am present in my life. That’s not the way I typically live my life in my day-to-day existence. I’m so focused on getting everything done that I forget to “be.” While I begin my days with God, I become hypnotized by the need to DO, DO, DO. I blink, and the day has whizzed by. I remind myself that if I can only get to my Sabbath day, then I can breathe again, and I hold my breath, counting down the days until I can exhale.
I don’t want to live that way anymore, and I don’t think God ever intended for us to live that way, either. God created us to need to breathe every moment of every day. It’s not realistic to hold my breath for six days and then finally breathe on the seventh.
Jason Gray shares an interesting perspective on the sound of God’s name (Yahweh) being the sound of our breathing. How might my perspective of my life and priorities change if I recognized that with every breath, I am speaking God’s name? How might my priorities shift in my everyday life if I looked for God in every moment rather than only first thing in the morning and before I go to bed at night?
When I was “unplugged” in Europe, I found it much easier to view life from a broader perspective – a perspective of thanksgiving and awe at the beautiful world that God has created. I stepped away from my identity as wife, mother, employee, etc. and stepped into my identity of “child of God.” Is it possible for me to live my day-to-day life like this? My past experience says no, but God says that all things are possible with Him. I choose to believe God.
[Graphic: Photograph of Grace in Lucerne, Switzerland. Courtesy Grace Daniels.]