I recently left the stone age and entered into the incredible world of the iPhone.
Although it may sound a bit strange, most people who knew me throughout college would be familiar with my small pink phone which once fell two storeys, and ran out of storage so quickly that I had to delete images in order to load WhatsApp voice notes.
For most adolescents, possession of such a low-tech phone may sound like a nightmare, or an act of social suicide. However, I was quite content, notwithstanding that the screen would often freeze and I would have to gently tap (beat) it until it cooperated.
My new toy greeted me the summer after I finished college and was a complete game changer. Usually during the summertime, my old phone would sit on my bedside table or in my hand bag while I enjoyed myself and cared very little about its existence. However, this summer I thought it fit to live life like a normal adolescent, so that my younger brother could stop referring to me as an old lady. So, I took in all of the memes, vines and videos that were now quite ancient, but that I was unfamiliar with.
In this process of catching up with my age group, my phone had become a rather convenient and entertaining extra limb. Each day I spent hours partaking in a fair amount of socially acceptable, social media stalking. After which I became increasingly sad about how far more interesting other people's lives seemed in comparison to mine.
One of those people
After a couple weeks, comments from friends and family members about how addicted to my phone I had become, started to trickle in. I was now one of those people. The ones who were so busy vicariously living someone else's reality, through their phone screen, that they only disconnected in order to ask their friends to recreate funny moments for the camera or take selfies. However, I ignored this gross exaggeration, because I was completely aware that I was spending a great deal of time on my phone. However, since I was on vacation with few other obligations, I saw no real problem with my actions. Especially considering that I read my daily devotional on the Bible App and sometimes watched sermons on YouTube.
However, after a couple more weeks of consistently playing with my new toy, tragedy struck my friend's family, and God directed me to go to the hospital and pray for her brother. This sudden inclination was followed by a wave of fears and insecurities that I thought I had overcome. Once more, I was terrified of stepping outside of my comfort zone, as well as of the possibility of rejection, and my inability to know what he actually thought of my gesture. So I dismissed the command and concealed my Jonah-like feelings with funny Snapchat filters and make-up tutorials. Yet I could not get rid of the ever-looming thought that God was patiently waiting on me.
When I finally acknowledged the command, I explained to God why I thought that perhaps a man would be a better fit for the job, as well as the fact that I could simply pray for him at home and achieve the same result. However, the nudge did not let up until I did what I was told to do.
To make a long story short, I travelled to my metaphorical Nineveh, to ask for permission to say a simple prayer, and I was granted it. As I rode home from the hospital, I was quite disappointed in myself for the great aversion that I had previously had towards doing what God had called me to do. I felt as though I had regressed in spiritual maturity, as my new pastime had been feeding my soul with things that were mostly of no benefit to my spiritual growth.
This regret forced me to be more cognizant of how I managed my time, even during the vacation. It also led to the abandonment of my tendency to become consumed with the seemingly fascinating lives that people portrayed on social media. A habit which was replaced by a concerted effort to focus on my individual purpose and not covet theirs.
A Look in the Mirror
Though we all have various pastimes and methods of relaxation, may we ensure that we are consistently nourishing our souls with the food that will allow us to stand tall in times of adversity, instead of cower from malnutrition. As Ephesians chapter 5 verses 15 to 16 warns us to be very careful of how we live, not as the unwise but as the wise, making the most of our time, in these evil days.
Danielle Jones was born on the beautiful island of Barbados to phenomenal parents. She just completed her first degree in Theatre and is looking forward to her next step being ordered by God. She hopes to be fluent in Spanish very soon, do global missionary work and continue to be an example of the love of Christ.
Danielle Jones' previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/danielle-jones.html