Tech Shaped Spirituality: Phones

Apr 13th 2015

About 10 days ago, as I was unlocking the door, my LG-G2 slipped out of my hand, falling mercilessly to the concrete. I used to have a cover/drop-protector thing on it, but when I was in Myanmar I left it with a phone I was giving them. So my coverless phone fell mercilessly to the concrete. It completely shattered.

If you have been trying to get ahold of me, I haven’t been ignoring you anymore than I usually do. My phone is at rest. Bit the big one. For 10 days, my left hand has been unusually empty. Bizarro-in-heaven-without-cell-phones

I know some of you are shaking your head in wonder, as  you cradle your phone in your hand. You feel bad for me. You are ready to scrounge in your sock drawer for an unused iphone 3. Please don’t. I’ve decided to go phoneless for the next few months. I am not one of those anti-tech guys. I love almost all (non-apple) tech. My LG-G2 was a sweet ride.

But here’s the thing, once upon a time, long car rides (alone) were some of my best times with God. Singing loud, praying outloud, talking to Jesus like he was sitting next to me, pondering stuff, dreaming Kingdom dreams, listening to sermons or even a digital Bible. But lately I’ve realized my long rides have become a distracted battle with my phone. No I don’t txt and drive, but I have been known to check and drive. And even when I’m not, I’m still distracted waiting for the next time I’ll stop so I can check and respond.

And when I’m not in the car, it’s even worse. I know I’m not the only one because I’ve seen you at the restaurant sitting with you friends, looking at your phone. I’ve walked down the street and noticed that 90% of the people I pass have one attached to their hands. I’ve almost run into you as you were walking and texting.

So here is my question, how is tech shaping our spirituality?

I’m not sure that I can develop a vibrant relationship with God if I am consistently distracted by my phone. In Jesus’ sermon on the mount, (Matthew 5-7) he said that if our hands offend us we should cut them off. So I’m going to amputate my phone…at least for awhile. I need some undistracted time with God. I know. You don’t need to smash your phone to have undistracted time with God. Maybe I’m the only one. Maybe not.