My heart rate elevated just a bit and a slight brain fog fell upon me as I suddenly became aware I had forgotten something very important. I even noticed my palms getting sweaty as I tightened the grip on my steering wheel. Then, I was accompanied by a deep sense of disappointment while driving in the opposite direction of my house. I literally could not even think straight for a brief moment! The ultimate separation anxiety ceased me 10 miles out of town while heading in the opposite direction of home!
I left my CELL PHONE in the laundry room! How could I?
I was headed to the mall with my hubby and all I could think of was how in the world are we going to find each other if we go into different stores. How did people keep from getting lost 20 years ago, anyone?
I’m not going to lie to y’all. I pouted on the inside for several more miles as I began to think of all the things I could NOT do without my phone during the next few hours away from home.
- Check my Facebook/Instagram
- Check my Le-Vel Page
- Check E-Mail and keep the junk deleted (yes I’m OCD)
- Call/Text as desired
- Kindle – books on the go
- Coupons for shopping available on Apps
While some of the things on my list are fine when used with boundaries, I began to face the harsh reality that I have absolutely NO boundary lines when it comes to using my phone. It’s seems I’ve allowed anything to go! Phone dependence was slamming me right between the eyes and I didn’t like it at all! No wonder I’m so distracted and many of my days feel somewhat less than productive. Clearly, I’ve been guilty of filling any and every void moment with some function from my phone. I have a feeling that I’m not alone in this, just sayin’.
I have thought about this little incident a lot since it happened. I’m trying to be sensitive to how the Lord would have me make changes that would allow Him to intervene in my heart because undoubtedly I’m being snared by the enemies trap on this one. It’s easy to make excuses and come up with justification for why we do certain things the way we do. In fact, that was my first defense mechanism.
I quickly began rationalizing my need to run such tight social media outlets because I’m super busy and have much to get done during the workday.
- I use social media to run my cloud-based nutrition business called Le-Vel.
- I connect with people all over the country for professional CDI consulting.
- I use private messaging so people can reach me in real time.
- I stay connected with ladies for ministry purposes at church.
- I keep up with our CAMO ministry correspondence (non-profit archery ministry)
- I keep up with family and friends more easily.
- I follow other Christian leaders for mentorship and encouragement.
Our best of intentions can go bad girls. It’s true. We don’t like to admit it when things turn out this way, but thank goodness our Lord loves us enough to intervene upon our lives and show us where we are about to drive ourselves off the proverbial cliff.
This little “not so trivial” lesson of forgetting my cell phone turned out to pack a pretty powerful punch in my heart. I became hyperaware during my evening of shopping and dinner as to how much I allow my phone to steal little moments that I simply cannot get back.
- I actually talked more while we were driving in the car.
- I was present in the moment at dinner that also provoked more conversation.
- I stayed in close communication with my hubby when I would change locations in the mall so we could easily reconnect with each other.
- I was not influenced or distracted in any way by the posts on my social network on Facebook or Instagram throughout the evening.
- I was not tempted to feel anxiety that I’m not doing as much as so and so…
- The negativity that we are often forced to overlook on social media was not in front of me; therefore I came out unscathed the entire evening.
The enemy is predictable and knowing this fact as we see in 1 John 2:16 we need to ready our lives with proper boundaries that work for our good.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
I’m not suggesting that we surrender our phones and return to handwriting letters via snail mail because we are obviously still called to live in this world. The tricky part is NOT becoming of this world. We have to be in Christ and allow His discipline to flow through us so we can brightly shine refreshment to the world. We have to find a way to do things differently and be noticed because of that difference.
God doesn’t mind you and I having smart phones that allow us to be more efficient in some of our work. He DOES mind us checking Facebook every 15 minutes throughout the day because we don’t really like the work we are doing and it gives a little break from a particular task we dislike. He DOES mind us looking at everyone’s life and constantly wishing ours were different. He DOES mind us getting distracted by how much progress so and so seems to be making with their ministry while ours is a mere thought. I could go on, but you get the idea with me.
I’m suggesting this first small step in the right direction:
- Only allow for checking social media at designated times throughout the day. If it means deleting the phone APP to prevent the temptation then consider making alterations that will ensure success!
Lord, forgive me for constantly failing you in these little areas of life. I lift my sisters reading this who also feel this same way. We are not alone and we need each other for encouragement. I know you don’t condemn us, but you love us enough to convict our heart when we are a little “off” on things. Father, I ask that you fill every void in our heart and remove any lingering desire to find validation and fulfillment from social media sources. Help us to use those sources as nothing more than encouragement in pure moderation. I ask that you speak to each of us individually about how we need to set our smart phone usage up in our daily lives so that we benefit from them, but don’t find ourselves hindering what you have called us to do in your Kingdom. Amen.