I took my car in for an oil change. Then took my daughter to dance class. A solid hour and a half of realizing I had hardly taken time to look up. I had been aimlessly scrolling through my phone, making notes, texting people, and reading tidbits from a variety of sources. At one point I noticed one of the people in the waiting room was reading the Bible. It looked really peaceful. Of course, I can go the Bible app and read too, but the question crossed my mind: could a smart phone cause someone to lose some sensitivity to God’s voice? Here are 5 possible things to watch for:
1) When your awakened at night you grab the phone instead of praying or writing – For many, the phone is the clock and alarm. When you wake up in the middle of the night, you check the phone and keep checking. Before you know it, you’re scrolling through and you’ve wasted an hour and a half. In the old days, when a person couldn’t sleep, they would read a book, write down a thought or spend time reflecting and praying.
2) All spare moments are filled being “engaged” through the phone – Spare moments are precious these days. If you have a smart phone, your time is always filled. You’re either doing work or just goofing off but in either case, you have filled your moments. There’s not as much observation and conversations are half-hearted at times.
3) You miss the inspirational and amazing moments trying too hard to capture and share it – Soaking in the moment – a beautiful sunset, an amazing nature scene, something funny your kids do – has been replaced with taking a picture, loading it on Instagram and sending it around the world. What used to be inspirational and moving for us is now inspirational and moving for everyone else.
4) You count on your phone to be the source of Scripture – It’s great to read Scripture in all the ways we can. But with the phone, we miss out on holding God’s word, seeing the surrounding context and sitting in silence before the Lord without the temptation of other apps and distractions. And maybe it’s just me – but I find that I read more and longer when I’m holding the book than when I’m reading little pages on my phone.
5) Messages, immediate news stories and the world is always at your finger tips – Most of which take time but don’t always add value. Missing conversations, observations and and other components to life may stifle your ability to clearly hear and respond to God’s quiet leading. When do you have time apart from your phone? When do you listen to God’s voice without distraction? When do you pray?
Of course I realized that the phone may also aid in the process – through daily scripture updates, blogs and connections with other believers, but I want to make sure that I don’t lose the sensitivity to hearing from the Lord! And as always, I trust that the Lord will lead us – and may even use moments on the phone – in whatever way – to call, awaken, create, and move in us.