“But we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will give thanks to you forever;
from generation to generation we will recount your praise.” Psalm 79:13
So, for the most part the phone fast really hasn’t changed a whole lot around here. I haven’t truly “fasted” from it but rather I’ve made the decision not to cling to it so heartily. I’ve gone from carrying it around the house with me, to leaving it in one room… and keeping it there. I’ve gone from checking for that little blinking message light every five minutes to today.
Today I’m actually writing on my Sabbath. Mostly because I’ve just got to write this down, I don’t want to forget the bliss of this feeling. I’m making a commitment and I want to get it in writing so that I’m more likely to stick to it.
I was just snuggled up with the sweetest little hot dog on the couch and Karen Kingsbury’s, Like Dandelion Dust. I flipped the pages closed on my thumb and had the book on the top of my head (of all places) when I had a moment of realization, “they can’t reach me”. In this moment, no matter what the news, good, bad or indifferent, it can’t reach me. In this moment with me on the couch and my phone on my dresser in the bedroom, untouched since I cleared out the daily morning weather text, I’m in here and whatever the world has to say to me is in there. And its arms can’t reach me. In this moment, in this place, it’s just me, Skippy and God. And I like it.
No one can call and ruin my day, no one can text and give me bad news, no one can email me and tell me that I won a million dollars or that book deal I’ve been dreaming of for the last four years. No body can reach me right now. Only GOD.
Only God can speak to me right now in this worldly silence. Only God is allowed past these walls I’m behind today. Only God is allowed to tell me how my day is going. Only God is allowed to speak into my life right now and He is love. He is the one who calls me by name and tells me He loves me. No matter how poorly or childishly I act towards Him; He never takes that love away from me. No matter how badly I behave He’s still waiting here in this room of silence from the world, arms open and waiting for me to come in and be still in His presence. He calls me here. Only the voice of Love Himself can reach me here.
HIS arms are long enough, they’re not too short to save me wherever I am and through whatever I’m going through. His arms are long enough to catch me from wherever I’m falling. His hands, His voice, His presence can reach me no matter what. In this day of silence after a week that was so filled with painful pruning and HUGE Spring Cleaning changes, it’s His arms that I need. It’s His arms that I need to hold me and tell me that no matter what waits for me inside that phone’s message memory, He’s holding me. And will continue to hold me, good, bad or indifferent. He will be with me, guiding me and helping me deal with each bit of news as it comes through the screen. He is with me, no matter what comes my way.
I didn’t realize how attached I was to that little screen until last night. My husband’s phone beeped and my heart simply raced with adrenaline and anxiety. It wasn’t even my phone but I was having a physical response to its cry for attention. As a mother I know that body response, it’s the same response I would have when my babies would cry and needed my attention. Except that phone is NOT my baby, my children are. And although they no longer cry like that, they DO still need my attention far more than that piece of plastic and the people behind it.
My friend Brenda owns and operates a Christian bookstore, Living Truth in Noblesville Indiana. It often happens that I’ll be on the phone with her and a customer will walk in the door and she will greet them and ask if she can help them. They will often respond, “Oh, I can wait, you’re on the phone.” And she will ALWAYS tell them, “But I’m here for YOU.” And then she will tell me that she will call me later.
Oh, how many of us could learn from that little lesson right there?!? She is standing in that store at this very moment, not because of the person that’s on the phone, but because of the person that’s standing right in front of her! The same is true right here in my house. While I dearly love the majority of the people whose voices call to me through that phone, if they are not the people standing right in front of me, then they do not deserve my undivided attention. Sorry. It doesn’t mean I love you any less, it just means that you’re not WITH me at the moment, and my kids are.
My children have never known a day when I didn’t have a cell phone with me at all times. They don’t know what it’s like not to watch TV without a cell phone in my hands, texting with someone at the same time. They don’t know what it’s like to be doing math homework with them and not have mommy texting someone, until this week. This week we made eye contact. This week I have been fully present with them and I have been fully engaged in what THEY have been doing. THEY are the sweet little people that God planted in this house, right in front of me. And I’m supposed to be here for them, not the people on the phone. And the people on the phone will get their turn with me, but it will be when I choose to turn and take care of their cry, not when the phone rings in desperation. They are adults, not infants; infants don’t know how to make phone calls or to text. Adults have the mental capacity to WAIT.
So, if you’re one of those people I love that is an adult that calls, texts or emails me, I’m sorry. Just as I suspected it would, this “fast” is going to be permanent. My phone will most likely always be on “silent” now. I will answer your messages as they come in, but in MY time. While you are VERY important to me, if you’re not in the same room with me, you don’t get first priority. It doesn’t mean I love you any less, it just means that you’re not WITH me and you’re going to have to wait your turn just like everyone else. 😉 However, it also means that when you ARE with me, you will be getting my undivided attention at all times, and won’t that be better anyway?
So friends, who wants to “do lunch”?