Last year when we kicked off our inaugural #SmartFreedom Challenge, I had no idea what a burden, what an addiction, what a misery I had created for myself by scrolling and refreshing and checking and rechecking my life away. The difficulty of each challenge made my attachment apparent and palpable.
As we close out this year's Lenten challenge, I invite you to reflect on what worked... what graces you received... and what kind of phone future you want to have. I know that pretty soon I'll be back to my screen staring ways. New habits are hard to create and even harder to keep... but I know I experienced freedom.
Know you are in my prayers as we enter this Holiest of Weeks! And here are the challenges I offer you in our final days:
Holy Week Text Message Challenge. To the best of your ability, call anyone who has texted you and have a conversation instead of just texting. It's such a joy to hear the laughter of a friend rather than simply receiving a laughing emoji. Have friends that are far away? Turn those text messages into FaceTimes.
Holy Week Turn the Phone Off Challenge. Anytime your phone should be on silent... go ahead and turn it off. Particularly for any of the Triduum services you may go to. Any meetings, any lunches, any gatherings. Make off the new silent.
Holy Week Radical Presence Challenge. We would have facebook-lived the crucifixion had we been there... and we would have missed the whole thing. Everytime you look at your phone this week, stop and call to mind that you are in the Presence of God. When you check your phone stop and say this prayer: "Heavenly Father, you said it was not good for man to be alone. I use this device because of that very purpose--to stay connected to the world around me. Change my heart when it comes to my phone. Teach me how to be free. Help me to always remember that those other people in front of me and the ones through the screen are your beloved sons and daughters. Help me not to miss out on life as it happens around me. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end, Amen."
God bless you and all of your contacts,
#SmartFreedom Challenge Checklist:
No phone while driving.
No phone during meals.
No phone in the bathroom.
Week Two we added Three Additional Practices (if you failed miserably, try again this week!):
No phone as an alarm for waking up in the morning.
No phone one hour before bedtime.
No phone for one hour after you wake up.
No Phones while conversing with other people.
Example: Human Person walks up to you and starts a conversation. Phone goes in your pocket or purse.
Example: Your daughter has a question about something. Phone goes in your pocket or purse.
Example: Your son can't find his shoes, again. Phone goes in your pocket or purse.
Example: Your fill in the blank says fill in the blank to you. Phone goes in your pocket or purse.
This challenge is not limited to friends and family... checkout girls, bag boys, receptionists, mechanics, donut shop workers (bless them), government employees (even those at the DMV), co-workers, zombies, husbands, other people in the #SmartFreedom Challenge, etc.
REPEAT WEEK 3’S Prayer Challenge: Less posting + More praying.
The only way to find our Identity in Christ is to spend some time in relationship with Him.
MONDAY: Phone goes off for 10 minutes. Take this 10 minutes for uninterrupted Prayer.
TUESDAY: Phone goes off for 20 minutes. Take this 20 minutes for uninterrupted Prayer.
WEDNESDAY: Phone goes off for 30 minutes. Take this 30 minutes for uninterrupted Prayer.
THURSDAY: Phone goes off for 40 minutes. Take this 40 minutes for uninterrupted Prayer.
FRIDAY: Phone goes off for 50 minutes. Take this 50 minutes for uninterrupted Prayer.
SATURDAY: Phone goes off for 60 minutes. Take this 60 minutes for uninterrupted Prayer.
Week Four: Pause before spending money through your phone... ask yourself how you might better use your resources.
Week Five: Replace Virtual reality with Virtue.