Disconnecting to Connect
Jesus loved people. He had compassion over the sick, a tenderness toward children and a yearning to save the lost. He healed, taught and performed miracles. Jesus was busy - busy loving and busy serving. Yet, Jesus still had to find moments to take a break and disconnect from people and things in order to connect with his Father.
Luke 5:15 tells us that, “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” On fasting and praying, Jesus said: “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your father, who is unseen… But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:6, 17-18.
Even Jesus had to disconnect from time to time in order to explore a deeper connection to the Lord. His example and counsel demonstrate that this was crucial to deepening HIs intimacy with the Father. In my life I have also found this to be true.
While I am no expert on fasting and praying, I have experienced rich blessings from practicing disconnection in order to connect to the Lord. I encourage you to take a moment and assess your connection. The holidays are now behind us and the anticipation of this new year is now here. Could you use a few moments of disconnect in order to connect? Check out the ideas below and consider some other creative methods that may work for you. Give disconnecting a try and may the Life-giver fill your cup. a
Try fasting from all of your apps (and their desktop versions) for one weekend, or even a week! The mindless scrolling of news, socials, sports, games, etc. can consume a lot of our time. During this challenge, say a little prayer every time you reach for your device. It helps to pick a prayer request or topic each day, you’ll be surprised how many times you will lift that request up to the Lord in prayer if you replace the impulse to check an app with a moment of prayer. Bonus: write down your prayers in a journal throughout the day.
Nature has a way of nurturing our spirits and lowering our stress levels that can only be divine. Take a walk on a quiet path and feel the air rise and fall in your chest. Slow your pace and listen to the sounds around you. Embrace the chill on your face and focus your thoughts on the Lord. Not a huge walker? Find a body of water—pond, lake, beach—or a hilltop and watch the sunset. Express your gratitude to the Lord during this peaceful time. Take an hour, an afternoon or even a weekend to connect via nature.
This may be particularly helpful for busy church leaders who often spend Sabbath overseeing some aspect of church operations. Step away from your responsibilities for one Sabbath and visit a nearby church. Let go of being in charge for one Sabbath and allow the Holy Spirit to work in your stillness. Pack a picnic or prep lunch the day before, keeping this Sabbath as responsibility free as possible. Spend the extra time being present with your spouse, children, family or just yourself. Pray and listen in your stillness.
By Kristina P. Busch
Southwestern Union Communication Director and Record Editor