The deluge of unopened emails has a mind of its own
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From Luke’s Journal 2022 | Rest | Vol.27 No.1
As I take this moment of pause before opening my email inbox,
I admit that I never usually do this –
pause before checking my emails (who does that?) –
and feel the emotions that can rise up –
anxiety (“I really don’t have time to check all these emails!”)
weariness (“Not another notice about how COVID keeps disrupting our lives!”)
dread (“How many unread emails are there waiting for me now?”)
urgency (“I need to check them all!”)
frustration (“I’d rather not be checking my emails right now.”)
impatience (“Where is that reply that I’ve been waiting for?“)
It seems like the deluge of unopened emails that awaits me has a mind of its own,
threatening to drown me with its pressure and demands.
Lord God, you have given me capacity to handle many demands thrown at me
but I am still only human.
I confess that my desire can be to know as much information as I can, to keep researching more, reading more –
to know what is happening around the world, with the global network tempting me towards omnipresence,
to satisfy my curiosity, with pride driving me on to grasp omniscience,
or to quell my anxiety, to try to stay in control, grasping at omnipotence,
I confess that my eyes grow weary, yet the temptation remains to stay online and keep reading more, and neglect sleep or rest.
Give me wisdom to know when to stop scrolling.
When I am anxious for a reply, remind me what I can control and what I can’t.
When I am weary, give me reprieve.
When I dread opening the inbox, spur me on with Your grace and strength.
When I sense the urgency rising up into panic, remind me to take in a breath and slow down my thoughts, and submit my work to You.
When I am impatient, grant me space to re-examine my desires and lay down my plans before You.
Help me to
and draft a reply that can be helpful,
and purposeful to the human being at the receiving end,
For their good and to Your ends,
even by my reading, considering, typing, and replying.
In the sovereignly gracious presence, knowledge, and strength of Christ Jesus,
This prayer was inspired by “Every Moment Holy”, a book of liturgies for daily life written by Douglas McKelvey (www.everymomentholy.com).
Dr Eleasa Sieh Dr Eleasa Sieh works part-time as a GP while studying Biblical counselling through Westminster Theological Seminary. She wrote this in response to jumping in to start serving with the Luke’s Journal Editorial Team and on the CMDFA National Board several years ago. She likes to take a break from her inbox by going on outdoor hikes and finding new books and music to recommend to others.