From Ruth Heilman, Minister of Music …
My friend recently shared a story about her daughter’s slumber party. Most of the group of 10 and 11 year olds giggled, chatted, and played throughout the evening. A few, however, had cell phones and spent most of the time staring into their phones. They may have been at the party, but they still missed it!
Studies abound which point out that cell phones hinder work productivity, social skills, and more. I would add spiritual discipline to the list. Emails, texts, and notifications invade our lives daily. Just look around a restaurant to see people looking at their phones instead of talking to one another.
It’s easy to while away the time on our phones and hard to put them down. We become distracted from God, too, struggling to spend time in God’s Word. We have trouble focusing during worship because of our increasingly short attention spans. I recently saw that people should disconnect from screens thirty minutes before bed for better sleep. What a great time to connect to God’s Word! Twenty minutes a night would result in more than two hours a week, and 10 hours in a month! That still leaves ten minutes each night for “screen-free” time. Spend it in prayer. Commune with God, unpack your burdens before you rest, and praise and thank Him for His gifts and His work in your life.
Make time for the people God has placed into your life. Many families have “no phone” rules at meals, during car rides, or for a specified time each evening. The best conversations with my parents, and with my children, were in the kitchen and in the car! In corporate worship, be present in every way – physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. God gives us His full attention. Let’s give Him ours.
Finally, let’s forego another 15+ minutes scrolling through the news app or social media. Instead, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” (Matthew 6:33) That’s the real party! God has invited you, so don’t miss out! (P.S. I hear the feast is amazing!)