SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
The Bible Unplugged
By MeLissa LeFleur
A couple weeks ago, I accidentally threw my iPhone into the washing machine with a load of dirty jeans. It soaked in sudsy water, becoming clean from all the germs, smears, and dog slobbers that were gracing it. About 10 minutes later, I began to wonder where my phone was. After searching in all its normal hiding places, I lifted the lid to the washer and there it sat glowing at the very bottom of the water. The light lit up the entire washing machine!
I grabbed it, shook out the water, and immediately buried it in a bag of rice. There it sat for 48 long hours. It was during those two days that I unplugged — not by choice, but out of necessity.
At first, it was annoying, like an itch that was impossible to scratch. A business client wanted to schedule a meeting and I couldn't access my calendar. A friend texted me a question and was frustrated when I didn't text her back. I couldn't take that hilarious photo and then share it Facebook.
Then Sunday came around and I had an enlightening experience! I normally utilize the Bible app on my phone during church. It is convenient, I never forget it at home, and it is easy to store notes. On the negative side, it is also distracting because my phone connects to my email, contains other apps where I can research my pastor's interpretation, the clock is constantly visible, and that book I've been wanting to finish always seems to be calling my name. I've made it a point that I don't access anything unrelated to the worship service, but the struggle still goes on in my mind.
That Sunday, I went old school! I brought my tech-less traditional Bible — you know, the kind that is like a paper book. Remember that kind? It was so amazing. Instead of distraction, I had focus. It was easier for me to track with my pastor's points and distractions were minimal.
I love technology and I would never say that technology is evil. In fact, I see no inherent problems with my phone or with the technology it uses, but my dependence and distraction with it was the problem. I know many people who use technology during church and don't struggle with the distractions. But for me, I think it is wise to unplug more often…especially at church. I still may use my phone's Bible app during church occasionally, but I'm going to make it a point to unplug on Sunday mornings more regularly. If it helps me pay attention and concentrate on the message my pastor is bringing, it will be worth it. I know that God gives my pastor wisdom, he is a great preacher, and I want to listen to what God is saying through Him.
In today's noisy and constantly-connected world, solitude is necessary and that includes technology. Perhaps I need to add a new spiritual discipline to my life — the 21st century discipline of unplugging occasionally. For me, Sunday mornings provide the perfect time.
I will listen to what God the LORD says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—but let them not turn to folly. Psalm 85:8
Image Credit: Dennis; "iphone Bible"; Creative Commons
Tags: Christian-Life | Personal-Life
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