Today I was listening to the local Christian radio and an ad came on that made me kind-of angry. The K-love announcer was talking about smart phones; about how we are always pulling them out in dull moments like when you are waiting in the doctors office, for someone to meet you, or, in her example, in the line to pick kids up from school. I nodded along with the ad thinking yup, that's me unfortunately. But the next part really surprised me. I cannot remember word for word what she said but it was something along the lines of this… "What should we do when we go to pull that phone out? We have the answer for you. Download the K-love app where you can connect with other Christians!"
I'm sorry, but what?!? I think I even said that out loud to myself because that was SO not what I was expecting her to follow up with. Being a Christian radio station I expected something more. Instead of encouraging us to pull our phones out, to download yet another app on our iPhone, and spend even more time with our noses in technology, shouldn't we be challenged to put the phone down?! Shouldn't we be encouraged to take those moments when we are sitting idle and waiting for the next appointment on our agenda to just sit and maybe look at the beautiful world right in front of our eyes? Shouldn't we be challenged to spend those moments talking to the One who created us, to listen for Him, and to appreciate what He's given us in this real world beyond the little screen? All the apps, the blogs, the games, sure, they have their place- but nothing should take the place of spending quality time with Him. THAT is what I was expecting to hear from the K-love ad. THAT is what I want to be reminded of. THAT is what I need to be encouraged in.
Maybe you aren't in the same place as me. Maybe you already do a good job of putting your phone down. [If that's you, then Bravo!! I admire you!] This is very much something I need to work on. I have been terrible with wasting time on my phone lately. TERRIBLE. I'll pick up my phone, open my email, look at new ones, close that. Open Instagram, scroll through, "like" a few photos, close that. Open Facebook, scroll through the newsfeed, read any messages or notifications, close that. Then I'll be like, "Mindy that's enough" click out of the apps, put down the phone, and then 2 minutes later I'm back looking at Facebook or Instagram for no reason. Why? Seriously. Why? What am I possibly going to learn by checking my apps so frequently? And most importantly, how much am I going to learn about the Lord who loves me when my eyes are glued to my screen?
Less than a month ago, I shared about how putting my phone down over the holidays was such a blessing, about how it helped me in my pursuit to live out the Jim Elliot quote that says "Wherever you are, be all there." It was so great being fully engaged in my surroundings and feeling more connected to the Lord; I was so proud! Well… apparently I've had a relapse and slid back into the lame habit of filling way too many free minutes with my phone in my hand. I guess I should have added this to my February To-Do list because I really need to work on this. Maybe that means putting limits on how many times I can access an app a day? Or taking full days off from using apps? Or having an analog weekend like some other bloggers I know? I don't know, but it's time to get more disciplined. There are lots of books to be read, sights to be seen (like the beautiful snow scene from snowshoeing with my family- image above), people to be appreciated, and a God who deserves to be worshipped- all of which do not require the iPhone.