It’s time to acknowledge our emotions instead of reaching for the nearest distraction.
The promise of each new app or gadget to hit the market can be summed up in four words: “never be bored again.”
It’s an enticing promise and one to which we’ve desperately clung as a society. We can pull out our phones or portable gaming systems to keep our minds and hands busy at any point we feel uncomfortable or bored during the day. In our worst moments, we use our phones to avoid socializing or entertain us when an in-person conversation starts to lag.
The advancement of technology is an incredible thing. We can stay connected to those we love in different cities, states or countries because of it. But what if we need moments of quiet—and possibly even boredom—to be spiritually and emotionally healthy?
We have unwittingly filed silence and rest into under the “boring” tab. We are buzzing, Tweeting, Instagramming and refreshing our way through the day, all the while ignoring our emotions. These emotions left neglected can result in the inevitable outburst of anger, anxiety or stress.
It is intimidating to pause and take a moment to honestly observe how we’re doing. We might try to clog our schedules with work or events to fill a particular void without actually addressing the source of the pain. However, in order to grow emotionally and spiritually, we must create space for self-reflection. When we buy into the promise that we’ll never be bored or unsatisfied if we don’t unplug from technology—we chip away at our ability to be self-aware.
The Psalms mention God as a shepherd leading his sheep to quiet pastures to rest and throughout scripture we see biblical figures walking away to a quiet place to pray. These quiet places opened up the opportunity to be honest with God about life’s circumstances and find restoration.
A quiet place doesn’t have to be on a mountaintop or by the ocean. It can be on your couch in the morning or on a bike ride around your neighborhood. The most important thing is to be away from your usual distractions so you can find the source of whatever is impacting you in a negative or positive way.
You will find depth in your range of emotions and maturity in the way you handle them if you keep returning to your quiet space.