It's DAY 40... and I know what you're thinking... there was no DAY 39 Challenge. That's simply because I wasn't on my phone on Saturday... a feat I never thought I could have accomplished. Not being on my phone yesterday was natural. Fitting. As if I never had a phone problem. Don't get me wrong, I used my phone--just to it's proper purpose: Phone Calls. In the morning I giggled over the phone like a teenager with the handsome guy that took me out on a date the night before. After that I FaceTimed an old friend who had moved out of state a few months back to dish about my night. Then I played some music, plugged it in, and walked away.
As my Saturday continued I threw it in my purse. Pulled it out to take this awesome picture...
then put it back in the truck and continued my day without my phone in hand... like it was 1998.
Later that night I joined some new friends for a BBQ. I left my phone in my purse in a different room... the.whole.night. I never knew what time it was, who was trying to reach me, or if World War III had started. So much peace. So much presence. So much life happening around me that I actually experienced.
Why do I tell you this story? It is not to brag, and it is not to make you feel bad for scrolling away your Saturday. I just want you to know it is possible. I could cry. 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.
As we close out this challenge, I invite you to reflect on what worked... what graces you received... and what kind of 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. And it took me until Day 39 to finally live it.
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. I recently started doing this with that handsome guy I was telling you about and it has been so good. 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,