#334 – Cryogenic Sabbath


A popular sci-fi trope is malfunctioning cryogenic sleep systems. Nothing ever good happens when the cryogenic system fails and the travelers wake up earlier than they’re supposed to.

In spite of the apparently unavoidable problems, I wouldn’t mind curling up inside a cryogenic chamber for a few weeks or years.

Much like everybody else, I’m in the midst of another busy season of life. It’s a season where I want to stop pushing through and just find the nearest cryogenic facility. Sleeping through the next few years I would miss a lot: The Avengers, the birth of my nephew, a family trip to Hawaii and evenings spent with Alycia. But I would also miss meetings, conferences, events and nights sleeping on an air mattress surrounded by teenage boys and Axe body spray.

I know what’d I’d miss wouldn’t make up for what I’d miss but, in busy seasons, it’s easy to lose perspective.

When we get trapped in the midst of a busy season all we can think about is getting out, taking a break or just hitting pause. And when that’s all we can think about we’re willing to do whatever it takes. In that mindset, cryogenically freezing ourselves seems to look like a viable option if the technology existed and they took American Express.

To avoid that dangerous “rest at all cost” mindset, though, we need to take the fourth commandment seriously. Most of us would never think about regularly disobeying the commandments against murder or adultery or idolatry. When it comes to God’s commandment to observe the Sabbath and rest, though, we’re more than happy to disobey. Regularly disobeying God’s command to rest, though, leads us to a life of imbalance, stress and malfunctioning cryogenic equipment.

Work and projects and family and fun are all a part of our regular rhythms. We just need to make sure we find rhythms of rest as well.

We’re never too busy to rest.

In the midst of your busy schedule, what practical ways have you found to rest?


2 comments on “#334 – Cryogenic Sabbath”

  1. That’s a really interesting take on cryogenics as an sf metaphor for our desire to “get away from it all.” I am also reminded of sleep as a scriptural metaphor for life without or before Christ: “Sleepers, wake!” in Ephesians (I think), and so forth. Another good post.

    The only time I’ve seen something good come out of cryogenics in sci-fi is the first season finale of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” In that episode, “The Nuetral Zone,” the cryogenic sleepers don’t actually get into too much trouble, and one of them even gets to connect with her 24th century descendants. So, all’s well that ends well, I guess.

    Of course, for every successful cryogenic experiment, there’s the cautionary tale of Khan Noonien Singh….!

    1. My favorite TNG episode with something like cryogenics is “The Perfect Mate”. Kamala gets out too early and she and Captain Picard form a deep relationship. It’s really one of my favorite episodes of the series.

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