This last weekend I went away for two nights fishing on the upper Deschutes with my dad, brother, and his friends for my brother’s bachelor party. It had been far too long for me to get in the woods away from it all for a few days. How times have changed. At one point there where many people including myself around the campfire with our smart phones out. Someone made a comment and I thought, “What am I doing?” I put my phone away the rest of the trip. It is so easy to get in the habit of checking twitter, Facebook, email, texts, and calls. In this ADD culture it is more and more difficult to unplug. I did and lived to tell about it. Unplug and get into nature for these 3 reasons.
1. Slow down: I love hunting, fishing, and camping because everything slows down. Everything in our society is getting faster and faster. It makes it even more important to get into nature and unplug yourself. When the sun sets and you sit around the campfire feeling the warmth of the flame on your sunburned cheeks is so relaxing. Telling stories and connecting as human being is something that is hard to do yet is so important.
2. Focus: I have found that when my phone is off and I’m in nature, I focus a lot more on what others are saying. The connection level that happens when you are in the wilderness is amazing. Doing activities together and just hanging out focuses you on relationships. Waiting for that fish to bite the fly or the deer to walk out in the open. Being focused on one thing is so good for us to do whether it is relationships or nature itself. In a normal day I usually have multiple technologies on at the same time. This was a great reminder to focus.
3. Admire: Nature is so beautiful. I see God’s handy work in it all. From the waves lapping against the shore, to tall Douglas firs, mountain tops, birds in the air, and all the other wildlife. I love to sit and admire everything. In Oregon we are lucky enough to have the ocean, forest, and high desert. If we don’t unplug we will miss the majesty of nature. We need to remember what it is like to be alone with our thoughts. There is a certain clarity that happens when we sit and just look at what God has blessed us with.
So slow down, focus on one thing, and admire the beauty around you. Unplug and remind yourself that you need more moments of margin. It will change your perspectives and your decision-making. Every major influencer throughout time, including Jesus, went off into nature and got away. You and I are no better. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you don’t need to get away. Make it apart of your life. Unplug and live your life.