On occasion I have the opportunity to travel to see family, one place I always enjoy visiting is California. It brings me much joy to see my niece and of course, I always enjoy a change of scenery as I explore the depths of God’s creation in new surroundings. This particular trip, the cool breeze of the California air filtered into the small patio in which I sat, the throw pillows and a soft red blanket gave their warmth to my chilled body. With a few sips of a heated comforting drink sitting before me I find my hand eventually gravitates towards my phone. Most of us have our phones readily available and this blogger is no exception. Scrolling through this or that I come across a text from a friend, it sent me to James 4:5.
In trying to find some way to make the verse applicable to life in the moment I realize, it’s hard to try and keep oneself grounded in the all too fast paced world we find ourselves in. With all the bustle of life and the instant access we have to everyone no matter how far or near through facebook (or insert your particular medium) one eventually must question… are our ‘things’ and the time we spend on them enviable to God?
A while back a fellow human (who’s name and physical attributes shall be withheld to protect the innocent) came to visit, it was so wonderful to see her as our busy lives usually pull us in different directions more days than not. We were reminiscing and thoroughly enjoying our time together when our ears hear the familiar catchy tones which we’ve incorporated into our handheld machines, giving rise to the thought; We have been beckoned! The theater of my mind finds happiness within the sounds of the tunes’ shadows as I quickly enter the code to unlock my own awaiting non messy snack alas finding I have facebook alerts, my heart begins beating a bit quicker. With my iPhone a buzzing and her Android a dinging, I wander beginning to contemplate… Do our mutual electronic devices have grips on our lives?
Time passed yet I continued to mull over the tough question that refused to be pushed aside. I found it was brought to the forefront of my mind shedding light as I considered the electronic desire within myself which quenched some unhealthy attachment (which consumes me more than I’d like to admit). This demanded an answer to the question… Are you gripped in an electronic addiction? It’s a tough question that not many want to think about moreover probably do not want to hear the answer to. It’s not an easy subject as I pound out this realization on my own larger tree’d fruit device.
Considering James 4:5 ‘…do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely’ (disclaimer I am no theologian simply going down a path that crosses the theater of my mind) It is with much sadness that I see in my own life a manifestation of something which would be enviable to the Spirit deep within. It is the comforting ding offering it’s own EGO (Edging God Out) trip.
As the Easter Season approaches it was no stretch to figure out what crutch I would do without this Lenten Season. I have found the familiar words of ‘being in the world but not of the world’ a little more clearer and quite frankly not so easy to swallow. I wish I could say with assuredness that once Easter is upon us I would not have a quenching desire to again engage in this particular social medium however if I am to remain honest with myself, I know different.
Even with an understanding of the size of the battle which will need to be fought, the conflict between the flesh and the earnest desire for God which is as old as time, will rage on both within myself and the world at large. We are assured in God’s word that we can find comfort in a fuller understanding that in all things we will have victories as well as defeats and intertwined in it all resides the knowledge that we are securely cloaked in a risen Christ who searches the depths of our hearts and is just.
Written By: Lisa Wooldridge,
Cypress UMC Member & Volunteer