Sunday, May 02, 2010

Forced sabbath

The voluntary weekly Shabbos lasts only one day, while this enforced Shabbos, occasioned by a volcano in Iceland, lasts longer; or so it seems. However, unlike the voluntary Shabbos, the gift granted weekly, the enforced Shabbos is sudden, unpredictable, and not likely to return soon.

But it does leave a lesson, does it not? Human beings are viscerally dependent on the technology that they themselves create. Ironically, that which is designed to free us of burdens — such as air flight — becomes a necessity whose interruption does not leave us with a sense of peace, but of inconvenience, anger, even desperation.

I think one of the major losses in the breakdown of discipline in the modern world is the inability to abstain from technology. I'm sure some of my faithful readers at this point are saying, "Behold, the pot notes that the kettle is black". Guilty as charged, to some extent. But starting in college when I stopped doing my homework on Sundays, I've realized that disconnecting for a little while is important for allowing meaningful connections to your work and to God.

Besides, my technology is all really old technology - my most recent purchase being an IBM RS/6000!

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