The Breaking Point...
I ignored the comments from my husband and kids for awhile. Surely I wasn't "on my phone" as much as they implied - or blatantly told me on several occasions. After all, I wasn't just surfing the internet or browsing the Facebook feed. I run a music studio. I have to check emails and respond. I manage a summer volunteer program for Charleston. I have to check those emails, too, and respond. Then there's my personal email that I have to check and also give a response. And my goodness - you can't forget about my YouVersion Bible alerts, Groupon pop-ups, calendar reminders, Planning Center invitations, Instagram pictures, weather alerts, and all of the other bits of communication I have to keep up with! Surely, I'm not just "on my phone."
Yes, I ignored those comments. But once again, my sweet six year old daughter got my attention. She called me to her room to play. She dressed herself up as a queen, made a throne of pillows, and announced that I may enter her castle so long as I read the sign on her door. In case you can't make out the picture, it is a drawing of a cell phone with a line through it and the word "no" underneath. Loud and clear to me. But still, wasn't enough to bring any real changes.
As much as this affects my family, I have created an even bigger barrier. My personal relationship with someone who I claim to have Lordship over my life - my personal Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. There has been a distance that has grown wider and farther apart due to my time being devoted to something else. The Holy Spirit has always convicted me pretty strongly either through songs or through a random word that will NOT get out of my mind. Lately, I have been hearing (and ignoring) that word. Distraction. I have no idea why that is hard for me to admit and own up to. But I'll say it again - DISTRACTION. God has not separated Himself from me. He hasn't left me. He hasn't decided that I should go through certain periods with him and other times without him. It is me who has turned from Him and toward something else. It wasn't until my daughter's comment about me needing a new best friend that I realized the connection between hearing "Distraction" and seeing what exactly was distracting me. I realized at that moment I had turned an awesome piece of technology meant to "make my life easier" into an idol that I was worshipping. Yes, that was hard to write. Then came the song that made it all so clear to me:
"Anything I put before my God is an idol
Anything I want with all my heart is an idol
Anything I can't stop thinking of is an idol
Anything that I give all my love is an idol"
I mean, at this point, I've got Jimmy Needham and the Holy Spirit telling me the same thing. Sometimes we think about worship as the 20-minute set list our Worship Leaders have selected for us every Sunday. Or, closer to home for worship band members, the small amount of time we spend "rehearsing" that set on our own. Ok, how about our personal devotion times, or prayer lists, or church small groups. Isn't that worship? Anything I put before my God is an idol. Anything I want with all my heart is an idol. Anything I can't stop thinking of is an idol. Anything that I give all my love is an idol. So, even if I sing alongside my church family, even if I attend my weekly small group, even if I serve every day of my life or dedicate myself to prayer and fasting - if I have an idol then I cannot also worship God.
The closing lyrics say, "We must not worship something that's not even worth it. Clear the stage, make some space for the one who deserves it." Scripture is loud and clear on the dangers of serving two gods so this one particular song is not my main resource for this revelation. In fact, even as I read scripture and its warnings in both the Old and New Testaments, I didn't relate those horrible "idol worshippers" to my own behaviors. These particular lyrics simply helped me put a face to that idol - and it wasn't the face of Jesus.
Clearing the Stage
This might be a messy breakup. Breakups are never easy. However, bad relationships need breaking up. So I'm going to "clear the stage" and "make some space" for the one who truly deserves it. I'm deleting my four email accounts (yes, FOUR), turning off all notifications and reminders (excuse me if I forget something in the near future), our family is going "digi-free" for July so we can rebuild stronger connections (so pray for our kids as they beg for their DS, Kindle, xbox, or other digi-items), and I'm taking Facebook off of my phone for a while until I can get my time management with the digital world under control. Let's face it. We can't escape technology or the convenience of it - especially when balancing businesses, raising a family, remaining in contact with far off loved ones, etc. But I have to start somewhere in "crushing the idol" in my life. Thanks for your prayers and accountability as I try a new thing and as I begin a nasty (but necessary) breakup with my former BFF.