Following on from my blog on us embracing technologiy I've had a few people contact me about my ideas on setting boundaries, so here's my first thought on the subject.
It relates to all of us with smartphones (iPhones, Blackberries and the like). Being able to receive email wherever you are can be great, but the danger is that you're available every waking hour and never actually stop working. Even when you're watching your child play football, watching a film in the cinema or as you're just waking up / going to sleep you're always on call (when I had a blackberry the flashing red led telling me a new email had arrived was somehow impossible to ignore, even during meals!).
So here's the idea. Decide in your day, your week and your year when you're going to sabbath, to stop, when it comes to work email. I preached last year that God designed the days, weeks, years and even decades with a rhythm, so let's apply that God principle here.
So decide when in your day you're done with work email - when you cross that line and stop. And once you've stopped don't start again - whether that means putting tape over the red led, turning the phone off, locking it in the car or surrendering it to your partner!
And have a sabbath day when you stop. That means no email! For me Saturday is my sabbath, so that means I'm trying to completely ignore email on my iPhone on Saturdays. It's early days on this one for me, but stop means stop!
And have a sabbath in your year. No email on holiday! I've seen too many mums and dads on their phones by the pool as their kids beg them to come in with them. Leave it at home, or if you need the phone at least turn off email.
We all like to think we are indispensable, but it's just not true! That email can wait. The world won't stop spinning and you'll do a better job of doing life as God intended.
And if work email isn't an issue for you, all of this can be applied to facebook, texting, msn and any other technology which stops you from stopping.