Last week I converted to the world of smart phones. Our new employer has given them to us to use while we are working here in Seoul. He handed me this amazing machine and then attempted, for the next 5 minutes, to give me a brief orientation. I was totally clueless. A week later I’ve downloaded countless apps and can’t imagine my subway time or language learning without it.
Aside from its helpfulness in not getting me lost in this huge city, I have had to create HUGE boundaries. Let’s be honest, before writing this post I was dabbling online for an hour and half of time that just got away from me. How does that happen so easily?
How can I set aside time for God when I see how many notifications and e-mails are awaiting me a click away. Why do I seek the approval of my friends more than quiet time with the Lord?
For me, after some thought (and yes, I even Googled some ideas) I have decided that the mornings will be my battlefield. When I wake up I don’t allow myself to do anything with my computer/phone/or Ipad. I turn off my phone alarm and turn on the daily devotion app. If I don’t abide by these rules, the morning just seems to slip away.
When my morning slips away, the afternoon is filled with discouragement, self-doubt, and frustration. How did I find myself in this well of discouragement? How did I spend the first minutes and hours of my day?
David asks God in Psalm 90:14 to Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days . This is my prayer too.
In the 6th chapter of Matthew, Jesus is teaches us that The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6: 22-24).
When I read this, I think about the social struggles of those that heard Jesus teaching. What distractions did the disciples have to deal with? Were they stronger than the ones we have today? Was it easier for them to meditate on God’s law and gospel without a smart phone?
Okay, so I have a lot of questions that are difficult to answer. Although my WWJD bracelet came off years ago, I still find myself considering this question when I am about to do something. What would Jesus want me to do? Most importantly to receive what he has prepared for me in Word and Sacrament: forgiveness, life, salvation. And then, filled to overflowing with that abundance, to look toward my neighbors with eyes newly opened in love and hands ready for service. Jesus poured himself out for us, so we can pour ourselves out in love for others. Did Jesus look to people for affirmation and fulfillment, or did he look to serve them, to give himself for them? Jesus took time on earth to develop relationships. Do we spend our days investing in relationships with others or ourselves? Do we seek real, intimate friendships or strive to make ourselves look better than our friends?
The last portion of Jesus’ sermon in Matthew mentions serving two masters. I had not even realized the hold that social media had over my life until I entered a closed country and was unable to use the internet for a week. It was so difficult to overcome that addiction, but now I am much more cautious. It has become a part of our lives, but it doesn’t need to master us.
Let us seek the Lord’s guidance in how He would have us spend our time.
Pray about it, even right now! (When I don’t know what to pray I read the Psalms.)
Daily meditation on Scripture doesn’t earn our way to heaven, but draws us closer to the one who earned heaven for us. Your lack of focus doesn’t change His!
“<Therefore let us….> fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 His focus has always been your salvation in Christ. Nothing can distract Him from His love for you!