I am, of course, talking about the problem of your mobile phone having a low battery.
You know how it goes. You leave home and realise that you have forgotten to charge your device overnight. You panic. You start thinking how much time do you have left. You become more anxious and go into energy-saving mode. You search frantically around cafés and public places looking for an electric socket. It is a modern trauma we all now face, and the price we pay for wanting 24/7 communication.
Each of our days begin believing that we will have the maximum access to our friends and family. We have the certainty that we will be able to play Candy Crush in the queue as we wait for our coffee. It’s a controlling thing and I am not sure I always feel comfortable with it.
I have wondered in my times of despair if anything good can come out of a low battery crisis, but then I read how our power dependency actually led to something good happening.
In 2012 the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in New York caused widespread outages across the city. Panicked New Yorkers took to the streets to find a way to contact their loved ones. Some people did what they hadn’t done for a long time – use a public call box. Others gathered around sockets in public spots as if they were campfires. There were even stories of people hailing cabs just to use a charging socket.
In the midst of the chaos I heard of one heartwarming twist on human generosity. It is how those with power became ‘digital Good Samaritans’. They ran extension leads out of their homes and even providing cables to charge up strangers’ mobile phones.
Just think, free electricity! When people are desperate enough, they will always seek out those with power.
As we enter the summer holidays, many of us are undoubtedly looking forward to recharging our batteries. We might be doing that by seeking the sun on a Greek Island or just simply taking time off work to be with the family and enjoying some day trips together. But the big thing for me is: how do we recharge throughout the year, not just in the month of August? Where do we look for that kind of power?
The Bible talks about how God created humanity to rest on the seventh day of the week, to enjoy time out from the fields and celebrate the fruit of our labour.
In particular, the book of Exodus encourages us to see the fourth commandment as a sacred space to put down whatever we are doing and rest our ox and donkey, so that all may be refreshed around us too.
Although I suspect not many of us will have an ox or a donkey, the point is made that everyone benefits from rest.
For those who have faith in God we see rest as empowerment. And the rest we receive comes in the shape of a loving Father in Heaven who wants to empower us through his son, Jesus, to live life to the full.
Paul the apostle writes in the Bible, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.“
We don’t need to stay anxious about never having enough power. And the rewards are rich. We are offered “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” And something that “will guard hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Whatever you are doing this summer, rest well and go in peace.