Saturday, July 23, 2011
I have a cell phone. Who doesn't? It’s the one thing I never leave home without and if I do, I will go back home to get it even if it means being late to whatever. But it isn’t just a phone...it’s my complete, personal & professional file cabinet, housing my entire life and all it’s moving parts, as well as the conduit that keeps me as efficient as possible in everything I do: work, communication, kids, calendars, etc. It used to be that phones were just phones...right? A handy little device that allowed us to stay in touch with people; to communicate with our children, husbands, wives, etc. It’s ironic that instead of inspiring connection, it's rapidly becoming the source of isolation and distraction.
We text INSTEAD of talk.
We text while in the same room together; We check Facebook and Twitter to catch up with each other. Most of us would just rather not talk or we don’t have time to talk, so a quick one-liner is more convenient. And not only that, but acronyms are now the popular craze because we don’t even have time to spell it out. LOL! I’m guilty, I do it. I text all the time and I even tell my clients to text me, instead of voicemail, because I don’t always have time to listen to them. Some people have said, “I don’t text...it’s so impersonal”.
We text AND talk.
Have you ever done it? Or has someone done it to you? Talking to someone while they are texting on their phone is like talking to a wall. But we still do it. It’s becoming more and more socially acceptable even though I think we’d all agree that it’s just down-right rude. We’re not giving either person our undivided attention, whether it’s the person I’m texting or the person I’m talking to. Some people have the gift of juggling multiple tasks, but no matter how good you are, it’s still rude.
Relationship. Connection. Communication.
It’s what we all want. It’s what the phone was invented to do and what the cell phone was suppose to promote, right? Yet, is it? Don’t get me wrong, I love my phone, but I’m just observing the possibility of it’s misuse. And as I find myself annoyed with this misuse (my own included), I am inwardly nudged by my Heavenly Father. It’s as if He momentarily allows me trade places with Him and see what He sees:
He created us to have a relationship with Him. He doesn’t want to text, He wants to talk. He wants a relationship with us; He wants to connect with us through His Holy Spirit and communicate with us through His word. What do we do? We replace relationship with religion, His Holy Spirit with “positive thinking & good behavior theories” and then we replace His word with our own will. In a nutshell, we think we can connect with God, because we go to church, think good thoughts, do good things and read the Bible without ever having a relationship or applying His word to our lives. It’s like we’re texting instead of talking or texting while He’s talking. We are so distracted that we miss God's purpose. That’s misuse of Christianity at its best. God wants a relationship. He doesn’t text. He waits for us to call on Him and then He will answer (Jeremiah 33:3).
I have a quote from Mike MacIntosh, (pastor of Horizon Christian Fellowship, San Diego) written in the front of my Bible that reads, "If the life of Christ is not your pattern, then the death of Christ cannot be your pardon". As I look at the life of Christ, I see the relationships He formed with people, the attention He gave to the sick and hurting and the communication He continually had with His Heavenly Father and I have to ask myself, “is this my pattern?”