This past week I published a post about how smart phones are creating isolation amidst our generation. Over the last week, I have intentionally begun to disengage from my phone. Whether that has been through leaving in my bedroom on my day off or turning it off for the night, the process of disengaging from digital distractions has been immensely helpful. I’d love to share with you some things that God has taught me in the short season of intentionally leaving my phone at home.
MY TIME IN THE WORD WAS SWEETER
There were no Facebook updates, tweets to look at it, e-mails to respond to, text messages to answer – there was the simple Word, waiting to be cherished and delighted in. To be honest, it felt weird in the beginning. There was a spell of anxiousness in my heart as I began to study God’s Word. What if I’m missing something? What if someone is trying to reach me? There I sat, wrestling with doubts of missed conversations on my phone, when I’m missing the ultimate conversation with God through His Word. Silly me.
In another real sense though, I felt free.As I began to read and journal through Colossians chapter 1, I found myself getting lost in the text. I found myself intermingling vocal prayer with vocal scripture reading. I began to feel free from the burden of constant-communication that is 99% of useless and began to feel connected to the King’s voice. I wasn’t bogged down by constant reminders to check the latest message or update, instead, I was pressed in by the Holy Spirit to continue to dive headlong into the mystery of Christ found in Colossians chapter 1.
I WAS MORE ATTENTIVE TO THE BEAUTY OF CREATION
One of the things I missed about living in the Southwest was the beauty of sunsets. Each night, I walk onto my front porch to gaze at God’s handiwork: a mosaic of hues spanning yellow, orange, purple, and blue. As I walked, I worshiped the Lord for the beauty of the sunsets. I marveled at the colors and shades that were to my right. I gazed at the clouds and the sun as it was setting. I looked to my left and I saw the beautiful Organ mountains with clouds rolling over them. My heart was full of adoration of a God who would design such an amazing evening.
I spent a bulk of my time praying and thanking God simply for who He is. There were no requests, there were no demands — just worship, praise and delighting in God. I spent the rest of my time telling my son about the beauty of Jesus and the Gospel. It was a sweet time to rejoice in who God is and His creation.
I SAVORED THE TIME WITH MY FAMILY
It was a wonderful evening to sit down at the dinner table with my wife and just to talk. We talked about what the Lord has been doing in our lives. We talked about the struggles of being parents and we leaned upon God in prayer for strength. We laughed, joked and enjoyed one another. It was simple and wonderful. Afterwards, we read The Jesus Storybook Bible to our sons and prayed for them. Honestly, there was nothing special about the evening — it was a simple evening filled with simple activities but was honestly one of the best nights I’ve had in awhile.
I’m going to challenge you to intentionally leave your phone at home the next time you go to dinner with your family or enjoy coffee with a friend. I’m going to challenge you to take a Sabbath rest from technology for the entire day so you can enjoy the beauty of creation and all of the gifts that God has given you. Let us not be bogged down by status updates, new e-mails and constant notifications — let us be a people who knows how to rest well, especially from technology. Let’s leave your phone at home this week.