Being Forced to a Tech Free Zone

First let me whine.  Because everybody can relate to what I’m about to say.  My phone is jacked.  And by jacked, I mean it doesn’t hold a signal for internet or for those occasional calls I have a phone for, calls are ended as soon as it rings and it takes forever to get it to call back.  It randomly turns off.  Full battery, checking something important like the radar or how much longer I have to wait for a new life on Candy Crush, black screen, off.  No beep, no warning.  Nothing.  After plugging in and rebooting 2-4 times, it will usually (sometimes) work again.  What started as simple acting up months ago has death spiraled into what we have now.  Now I have to leave it plugged into the truck.  Read: way out of reach. 

Devastating yall!  It’s my PHONE!  It’s my music, my always handy camera, my budget, my to-do list, my communication device!  I have my thoughts about why it happened.  Like the fact that it is a conspiracy directly from the provider because I was eligible for an upgrade in October but am putting it off because if we use the upgrade we are forced into a new plan that does not include unlimited data.  And with the amount of Googling we do, Verizon would love it, our budget would not.  But I digress.

I will also admit my totally sinful, selfish behavior right here.  That first week, I would get upset when Mr. was sitting there happily playing on his phone, totally not hearing my rambling thoughts from all this spare thinking time I now had, while mine sat in the truck.  Why did it have to be MY phone?!  I would mutter in my head as I sulking-ly (is that a word?) went to play with the children or start some chore I would have rather procrastinated on. 

After a few days I started getting over it and figured I would just ask God to show me the positive side to having a tethered phone and use it to grow me.  And boy has He!!  No longer was I going to the truck first thing in the morning to check emails and FaceBook and then doing my devotionals, rushing to finish because the children were awake.  I drank my coffee and read my devotionals leisurely – putting God at the beginning of my day.  Instead of second, it occurred to me.  Ouch.  No more “just one minute’ing” the children while I formed a properly worded reply.  Or nights lying in bed reading “one more blog” and staying up way late.  No more “quickly searching” for a creative solution on Pinterest and getting sucked into its never ending hole.  On and on I could go. 

I now had to make the purposeful effort to walk out to the truck and choose to be on my phone, intentionally choose to not be engaged, instead of mindlessly playing on it just because it was there. 

I have only had a “smartphone” for a little over 2 years.  How much of my life in the last 2 years have I missed or postponed because of that wonderful yet sneaky device?  How many missed conversations with my family?  How many getting along, helpful moments happened between my children that I didn’t see, didn’t encourage, in those 10, 20 or 30 minutes of being “sucked in”?  How many quiet moments looking at the beauty God created – the clouds swirling before a storm, the shooting star, the red bird dancing with the blue bird – have I missed in the last 2 years?  How often has God been trying to talk to me but I have been mindlessly preoccupied? 

I know that I have not “figured it out”.  I’m also pretty sure I have not been rehabbed enough to be trusted with a normal working smartphone just yet.  It has only been a few weeks after all.  But I am getting there.  I miss having my always available camera with the immediate edit and uploading tools.  Perhaps having a pic to document everything isn’t always the best thing anyway since you become a spectator instead of an active participant.  The Lord will provide the means to a new phone when it fits His timing.  Until then, I will learn to live again without being attached to a phone.  So if you call or text me, I will get back to you during quite time or after dinner when I check it.  If you want to come by, come on, just honk in the driveway and I’ll open the gate.  Just be prepared to leave your phone in the car and enjoy the moments you are here.

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