Sabbath: The TV slump

Collapsing in front of the TV at the end of the day isn‘t bad, but why not set aside 15 minutes for meditation as well?

Life in Britain today is non-stop. The shops never close, work is always with us, news is 24/7, emails, phone calls, messages, and notifications are constantly bombarding us. Life is just plain busy. It’s hard not to get sucked into this non-stop way of life.

Worse, when we do eventually stop, it’s often not in the most life-giving and holistic of ways. I know first hand how easy it is for my only form of rest to be collapsing in a heap on the sofa, eating a rushed dinner in front of the TV after finally getting the kids to bed at the end of a long working day.

It’s not that this is wrong or harmful — and it really can hit the spot in the moment! — it’s just not good for our souls if this is the only form of rest and refreshment we pursue. We are missing out on additional, richer experiences.

Sabbath is about making space for total refreshment of our whole being: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Slumping in front of the TV typically only meets two of these needs at best.

What are the alternatives though? We all know that browsing the Internet and immersing ourselves in social media is a similarly limited form of sabbath to watching TV. And though reading may be a more beneficial use of our time, for many of us our eyes are too tired to read a book at the end of a long, tiring day.

This brings me to meditation. The benefits of meditation are simply astounding. It is right up there with physical exercise and reading as one of the most useful things we can do for our all-round health and well-being.

When the benefits are so apparent, it’s amazing more of us haven’t prioritised it. Whether we can manage just five minutes, or fifteen minutes, or thirty minutes, every moment we spend slowing our mind down, entering into a contemplative state, and embracing stillness, is a moment that will add significantly more refreshment to our lives than if we solely spend it in front of the TV or on social media.

The beauty of this is that even if we go all out and have a thirty minute time of meditation, we can still have plenty of time to watch our favourite TV show later in the evening too. Win-win! But the true, deep, meaningful rest, restoration, and perspective we experience by adding even just a short amount of meditation to our day is more than worth every moment of time it takes up.

Why not give it a try on a couple of evenings this week? Not sure where to start? You could have a listen to this podcast and then download this resource from The Liturgists.

Originally published at www.samradford.com.

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