It’s actually embarrassing. I hate to admit it. But there are times throughout the day (multiple times, I might add) that I find myself reaching in my pocket to confirm my phone is near. Almost as a type of security blanket. I just need to know it’s there.
As a matter of fact, I’ve made it such a habit to have my phone near, I now click it – just to see it light up. Honest. I’m not looking for any notifications, I just engage the screen and I’m not even sure why. How have I trained myself in a few short years become so reliant on that silly piece of technology? And what if, just what if, I used that same training to create a behavior that makes me rely on my faith in that same way? What if I held on to my faith tighter than I hold onto my phone?
Well, this year is the year. Today is the day. I’m not sure how successful I’ll be – but I’m going to try. I’ve created a little 3-step approach. Maybe you’ll want to join me. And maybe it’s not your phone, maybe it’s something else. But regardless, whatever earthly possession is getting in the way of your faith being a priority – let’s change it.
- First I need to give some meaning to my screen-checking behavior. I’m doing it all-the-time anyway, so it seems to make sense to use that trained behavior for good. So I am changing my screen wallpaper to share a reminder message (maybe you’ll use the one here – go ahead, you can save it directly to your device). The message on this screen should help me begin thinking about my faith each time I engage the screen.
- Next there will be an un-training process. Now that I have changed what I “think” about when I click, I need to replace the behavior. When I find myself in a panic, seeking that phone click for comfort and assurance – I, instead, need to replace it with a faith-comforting message that can quickly echo in my head. Something like, “Gotcha God, it’s my faith I’m looking for to satisfy my restlessness – thanks for the reminder.” This will take some discipline and foreshadowing to catch myself “in the act.” But I think after a few weeks of the new screen saver, I’ll be ready.
- Lastly, I want feel it. The odd satisfaction I have gotten from feeling the presence of my phone, the calming effect I get when I see it light up and then I slip it quietly back into my pocket… I want to feel that with my faith. I want total replacement. This step only comes when I seek the Holy Spirit to engage my heart, the same way I physically found satisfaction in my phone. This year. Today. I’m on the road to holding onto my faith tighter than my phone.
Relevant Scripture: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
Holy Spirit, join me and lead this small, but significant New Year’s Resolution to replace the dependency I have on my phone with my faith. Help me hold to my faith with greater attention and consistency than I hold my earthly possessions. Amen.