digital silence and computer turned off

What Four Days of Digital Silence Taught Me About Myself

The eye problems started months before but worsened over the last few weeks. My self-imposed deadlines didn’t help. I worked more than 40 hours in the first three days last week, most of that time spent on the computer. Eye strain added to the problems I already had. Thursday morning, my eyes hurt and my vision seemed blurry.  I was exhausted. The only sensible remedy was rest.

In case you missed my social media post last Thursday, I chose to maintain a near-complete digital silence over the last four days. I closed my computer and left it closed. I didn’t write, send or respond to emails, or read.

Instead, I rested, slept, and listened to audiobooks. I “watched” Netflix, mostly with my eyes closed. By Saturday, I felt better, so I cleaned the house, washed clothes, and dealt with clutter.

Did eye strain cause my vision problems? No. Did long hours of work cause my vision problems? No. My eye problems worsened after I completed my steroid taper. Computer-related eye strain was an additional problem. Digital silence helped the eye strain, but not my cornea issues.

Still, the rest was good for me, and I re-learned a few things about myself.

What I learned about myself

  • Writing is how I process life.
  • Working long hours is neither sin nor a character flaw, especially when the work you do is what you most enjoy and to which you’re called. (A husband or children in my home would require a different priority, however.)
  • Being still is part of the work I do. If I’m not still I can’t “hear” to write.
  • I prefer working from home because it’s easier to be still.
  • The period of digital silence lifted the pressure to write for a bit.
  • Even marathon-workers need rest after the marathon ends.

There’s nothing “wrong” about my lifestyle, however, this world would be a miserable place if everyone tried to adopt it.

Some truth we should all remember:

God has a specific plan for all of us, and it’s good. (Jer. 29:11) He knew us before we were born, knitted us together in our mothers’ wombs, and knows all the days He’s planned for us. (Psalm 139) Each of us has a specific place in the body of Christ and a specific role to fulfill. (1 Cor. 12:27-30)

  • Each of us must recognize our own gifts, talents, abilities, and the way God wants us to use them.
  • Fulfilling the calling of God is an act of obedience and not optional.
  • Christ calls us to abundant, joyful living. No matter what work we do, we should find joy in it.
  • Families matter and we must not neglect the training of children.
  • Spouses matter and we must not neglect them, even for good works.
  • Everyone has a vital part to play in the body of Christ, and the entire body suffers if we don’t do our part.

Today, let’s seek clarity about our own God-appointed role. Are we hands that serve? The voice that teaches? The heart of compassion that comforts? The feet that go? The knees that pray? The eyes that see?

How are we fulfilling our part in the body of Christ? How do we use our gifts to share the love of God in a dark and lonely world?

Rest isn’t optional, but neither is serving as we were created to serve. Let’s be sure we have plenty of both.

Every part of our body matters.

…but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. Ephesians 4:15-16 

You might also enjoy reading: 

Four Reasons We Should Honor the Sabbath Today

The Broke-Smartphone Blessing

When You’re Too Busy to Be Still but Rest Isn’t Optional

Lipstick, Life, and Leaving a Legacy that Lasts

What Will Life be Like if I Do My Father’s

Thanks so much for sharing your time with me by reading this post! Would you please take a moment to help extend my digital reach by sharing on social media and pinning this image to Pinterest? I appreciate your help more than you know, my awesome friend.

3 thoughts on “What Four Days of Digital Silence Taught Me About Myself”

  1. Hi Leanna,

    I just found this article through a tailwind tribe and I enjoyed reading it and reflecting on it. I too have had vision issues. Twice I’ve experienced losing vision completely in my right eye (I’m talking pitch black, scary) and it ended up being optic neuritis. I dealt with worldly medicine to bring my vision back but the only “medicine” that truly brought it back was my faithfulness in God. Sometimes we have to step away in order to really “see”. Great article!

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