Forward Today: Unplugging to plug in

Dear friends in Christ,

I’m writing this from the mountains of Colorado, where I’ve come to spend a few days learning from clergy colleagues. It’s an incredibly beautiful setting, and I’m learning a great deal about how to be a leader in the missionary church.

On Monday, when we arrived, one of the first things we did was sort out the WiFi password. All of us were quick to check emails and stay connected with our families and churches and so forth. Then, late afternoon on the first day, a close lightning strike took out the internet. And because we’re in the mountains, there’s not much of a mobile phone signal.

I’m not going to lie, the prospect of being disconnected was a little unsettling.

But you know what? This has turned out to be a blessing. I think we’re all paying a bit more attention to the speakers, because it’s not so easy to be distracted. In the lodge where I’m staying there’s absolutely no signal whatsoever, so when I walked up to go to bed, there was quiet peace. Often I read for a bit, catch up on social media, or send a few emails. Last night, I went straight to sleep.

I didn’t choose to unplug, but I’m grateful for this time. Avoiding the distraction of the internet has helped me focus on the folks here in a different way than I might have otherwise. And I’m noticing the beauty of this place in ways that I might have missed.

I’ve written about this before. The internet is a great blessing, I think. We can connect with people, learn all sorts of things, and share the Good News of God in Jesus Christ. But it also has some downsides.

Maybe I’ll try unplugging a little more often. It might help me plug in to new things.

Have you tried unplugging for a bit? What was it like? Does online life bring us closer to Jesus, or does it take us away from him? Plenty to ponder.

Yours faithfully,
Scott Gunn
Executive Director


P.S. I’m grateful to my friend Emily Mellott, who suggested this topic as she walked by when I was standing near a meadow trying to think of a topic—in the one place where there’s a good signal.

Photo by Scott Gunn, taken in Colorado

Today’s Flash Sale: Faith Confirmed

Faith ConfirmedIn our journey through life, we often face big questions: What is the meaning of life? Who is God? Why do people die and what happens after death? Throughout the ages, Christians have turned to the Bible and to the Church for answers.

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Regular: $18
Today: $13.50

*Discount is valid until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time