About ten years ago we would get up in the morning and immediately turn on the radio to check the weather. Had to figure out how to dress our kids for school. Not anymore. Now we look at our cell phone or tablet and see the weather any time we want. We can see weather school bus cancellations, email, news, sports and social media.
But we don’t just check our devices only in the morning. We cling to them all day long, waiting for them to tell us something is going on even if it’s not.
It’s like Star Trek when they had communicators attached constantly to their belts or on their uniforms. You could reach the Captain or the Away Team anywhere anytime. Unless of course the signal was jammed or otherwise messed up (really does sound like cell phones).
If we leave them behind we fret and worry about what we’re missing at any given moment. And they steal the time from all other parts of our day.
Used to be the phone just rang at home to interrupt family dinner or conversation. We hated that. But now our devices interrupt everything and everyone in our lives and we let them do it. We can be having a heart to heart conversation but our phone will chirp in some way and our attention is diverted instantly. Interruptions take from our family, our work, our imagination, our rest, and our awareness of the world around us. And they interrupt God.
If we happen to get a moment of downtime or have to wait in line we whip out our device and check something. We don’t even wait for the device to “ring” in some way. We check, in case something has happened somewhere, to someone, ANYONE!
Times when we could listen for God’s still small voice in our busy lives or pray for someone are gone. Our tech has taken over. And some of us don’t even notice.
I agree it’s good to keep in touch with people via tech. I’m glad to keep up with my wife and kids or friends.
Less than 20 years ago, we only had one cell phone between my wife and myself (hard to believe now eh?). She went out with our baby and toddler in the car. She got a flat tire on a country road with little traffic. There was no one around. She was stuck and not being able to leave the kids drove on the flat tire to a house she could see. It turned out a very nasty dog lived there. The dog was snapping and growling as my wife sought help. She thought, “my kids are about to see me get eaten by a dog!” Thankfully, the dog’s owner called her off and let my wife phone for help. From that time on we got cell phones for each of us. We decided it was a safety issue.
Most of our communication doesn’t have to be constant. Most is not urgent.
We could check email once or twice a day and not be seriously affected with most of the messages we get. Is social media ever urgent? (but it is fun, isn’t it?) We could check it once a day and spend the other time in prayer, Bible reading, listening for God’s voice or in face-to-face conversation with actual people. (yes, I know the people on your cell phone are actual, but they’re not face-to-face)
So, my question to myself and you is how could we limit the hold technology has on your hearts and put God first? Could you set aside device free time for God? Maybe you already do, I’d love to hear about it if you do.
Could there be an hour in the morning or evening without tech. Or could we say that when we get a few minutes of waiting time during the day we’ll talk to God instead of check your device? (Okay, maybe not talking to God out loud if we’re in line in the grocery store)
What would work for you? It’s not about guilt, it’s about practically deciding what could you do to improve your God time? It takes initiative and a decision.