So leaving for church this morning I happened to forget my phone as it was charging in my room. For as much as my phone requires charging I'm beginning to think my full size van is more green ... but I digress. The point is I don't think I realized how much I reached for it until it wasn't there. I was a little bummed when I realized I forgot it as I was going to be out all day, as we had a party to go to afterwards, but in all honesty I wasn't upset as much as I was surprised. Again, surprised at how much I reached out for it when the light turned red, or checked my pocket occasionally throughout the day.
If you can believe it, by the time I got home, no text message, missed call, voice mail, notification, tweet, or anything else was so important that it had to be dealt with. Amazing huh?
In some ways my phone is helpful. I will say that my phone usage has replaced things more that it has added. My e-mail, browsing, Facebook, calendar, running logs, etc. are all managed on my phone. I rarely use my home PC anymore. So to be fair, it's not like I have created a bunch of new things, so much as condensed them on my phone. The danger for me however, is that I now carry all those things with me 24/7.
I find it ironic that I shared my thoughts recently on the noise in this world, and in some cases, am a very strong player. So while I don't feel I am off my rocker (whatever that means) with respect to my time devoted to those things, I don't think I realized how habitual they had become.
My wife and I recently talked about how after getting home from work, phones are on the cradle (ok, so they don't have cradles but you get my point). After the kids are in bed, and we finished catching up, if we decide to take some time to ourselves, great, but that shouldn't get in the way of us. Personally, I think I need to have a day (Sunday sure sounds like a good one) where my phone is not used other than to make an actual call; I think my phone has an app for making calls still.
OK, so Jesus didn't have Facebook, I know. I also know that social networking is not evil either, and in fact, as a major communication method of the day (10 years we'll have others), it can be used in wonderful ways too. However there are some Words that jump out to me ...
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 ESV)This reminds me that while none of these things I mention above that my phone does are destructive in themselves, they can be tools. I have seen relationships fractured because of online relationships, I have seen marriages lose their spark because of worldly distractions, I have seen parents lose sight of their children because of disconnect, I've seen people get fired because of misuse of these tools, and all I can say to myself and everyone, is be sober-minded ... be watchful ... because many things can consume us if we let them. Forgetting my phone for a day made me look at this electronic rectangle and ponder the words ... idol?
Be watchful ... and pray that I am too.
I love you all,