iPhone iDol: iNeed iAm

My son’s ability to sense a cell phone in the room and then zero in on it is incredible. He will go to extreme lengths to try and get it, even stop in the middle of his first morning feeding if he so much as catches a glimpse of it. He is seven months old. It was fascinating at first, even funny, when he would drop everything to go after mommy or daddy’s phone. We would think, “Oh, he must know that we think they are important because we always have them.” Dean and I really try to be present with Sammy when we are with him; which means not sticking our noses in our phones all day, but there is still a lot of time that we spend on them and Sammy wants what we have.

Recently, I had started to feel a little uneasy about Sammy’s obsession with my phone, but it wasn’t until this morning that I understood the true capacity of what my phone really was. Sammy was eating ravenously, it was his first morning feeding and it had been 10 hours since he ate last. I knew better than to have my phone anywhere in Sammy’s line of sight. If Sammy saw the phone he would stop everything, even eating a meal he so desperately wanted and needed just so he could try to possess the device. All of a sudden Sammy stopped drinking and started squirming around and fussing. He must be experiencing some gas or discomfort. But no matter what I did or tried he still squirmed and fussed. Then I felt it, a weight in the front pocket of my sweatshirt shift: my cell phone.  I looked down to see Sammy’s chubby little fingers retreat out of my pocket, knuckles white with determination and strength, he had the phone in his clutches. Just for a moment his face shown of shear victory, until I pried the phone from his hands, lobbed it to the other end of the couch, swiftly followed by a pillow, which, upon landing, hid the phone from view.

This phone was becoming a problem. I didn’t even remember it was in my pocket, but he knew, he found it, how did he find it? No, this phone was already a problem. But the more I thought about it the more I realized that this phone wasn’t so much of a problem for Sammy as it was for me. Last night my phone’s battery was almost dead. I plugged the phone in at an outlet in the kitchen, so I could try to be more present with my family. But I found myself constantly searching for my phone. I would look for my phone in my pockets before I remembered that it was in another room charging.

Who is that actress? I know her from something else… Feel around for my phone to find an answer.

These menstrual cramps are miserable…Feel around for my phone to complain to a friend and find some essential oil mixtures to help.

I need a little break…Where is that phone?

Do we have plans tomorrow? Search for my phone to look up my calendar.

What is the weather supposed to be tomorrow?

That video of Sammy in the bath was so cute, I want to watch it again.

Did our lawyer email over his retainer contract?

I need to remember to find a David’s Bridal to get sized for my friend’s wedding.

I’ve seen this episode so many times, what else can I do while I watch? Chess? Facebook?

What are other people doing right now?

I want to talk to someone…to connect.

The list goes on and on and on. I need my phone, where’s my phone, I’ll check on my phone, maybe I can find it on my phone… I’m obsessed. It has become such a part of me that I didn’t even realize it; my phone has become my god. My phone is an idol! I know, I know, we have all seen those videos about how we miss things when we are on our phones. We all KNOW our phones can suck us in, but we also all KNOW that our phones aren’t all bad, it’s all about balance and blah-blah-blah. It’s so easy to blame the phone and declare, “I will give up social media for lent!” or “I will put my phone in another room while I am home!” or “I will take my email off my phone!” and hope that things will change. But no matter how long I refrain or how many promises I make about my phone, I always seem to get sucked back in. Why?

When it comes down to it, it’s not really about the phone at all. I have these desires engrained in me. I want to connect with others. I want to know and to be known. I want answers. I want purpose. I want guidance. I want rest. I want success. I want recognition. I want to remember. I want to plan. I want comfort. I’ve been going to my phone for understanding, purpose, communion, guidance, knowledge, remembrance, and the list goes on. I have been going to my phone when I should be going to my God. And the worst part? I’ve been teaching my son that the answers come from a phone…. A PHONE!!! Not Jesus, but a phone! Sure, I pray out loud with my son every night before bed. I pray with him when he isn’t feeling well. We read books about God. We listen to bible stories. We go to church. We have times of worship. We do all these things, but even with all of that, when my first response is to check my phone, I’m teaching my son that phones come first. I’m teaching my son that communion comes from the phone, comfort comes from the phone, rest comes from the phone, etc, etc, etc!

My phone itself is not bad, but in my brokenness I have turned it into something that God never intended it to be. Why is it so easy for me to choose a phone as my god instead of recognizing that God is God? I don’t need to stifle my desire for rest, communion, purpose, guidance, etc. Those are not bad desires. God created me to have these needs and desires, because guess who those needs draw me closer to? HIM!

Satan would love to try and get me to believe that I am horrible person for this. But I’m not. You know that, I know that, but there is that little nagging feeling inside me that says, “I failed again.” But guess what? I didn’t fail, I mean I did, but I didn’t. Is it failing if you fall down and get back up? No, I didn’t fail, I won’t ever fail. Not because I’m awesome or great or whatever, but because He is! Jesus said, “it is finished!” and it is! I have already won. We have won. I am still fighting, I am still running toward my Lord, but even a fall is not a complete failure when I know that nothing can keep me from winning because Jesus has already won the race for me. Recognizing that I am NOT God is a victory. Recognizing that I NEED God is a victory! Recognizing that I am trying to fill my need for God with something else is also a victory!

Philippians 1:6 “For I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

God is working in me, He is perfecting me. I have not been called a failure, but progress. This is my resurrection. I am not dying, but I have already died and now I am rising back to life. There is hope.

The other day I was practicing yoga. I have not been able to fully express an arm balance for over two years now due to the tendinitis in my wrist and subsequent muscle loss. The other day I was practicing crow pose, a pose where your hands are planted into the ground and your knees rest into your armpits so your feet can lift off the ground. I haven’t been able to put my full weight into my hands and lift my feet of the ground in ages, and the other day was no different. However, I was able to lift one foot off the ground. If I looked at my practice from a perspective of what I have done before it looks like I’m getting worse. Once I had both feet off the ground, but now I only have one… is it possible that pretty soon I won’t be able to lift even one foot off the ground? But the reality is so different! I had both feet off the ground once, and then I was broken and needed both feet on the ground, and now I am regaining my strength and I am able to take one foot off the ground. I am not getting worse, I’m getting better. I was well, I got sick, and now I am on the mend. But the evil one is trying to convince me that I was well, I got sick, and I’m getting sicker.

I won’t believe that for a second! God is doing a good work in me! He is revealing his Truth to me. He is mending me. I am not perfect, and I won’t be until the day Christ comes again, but I am on the mend! I am not dying, I am being resurrected!

So back to the phone, I have not failed, I am not a bad mom, I am not a sad excuse for a human. No, I AM human. I am not God and I am recognizing my NEED for God…and that is a victory!

Worship with me:


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