Paper and Plastic

In attempts to learn more about God and constantly keep my thoughts occupied with love. I assume that getting rid of my cell phone, my internet, itouch and whatever else that can be a distraction from just constantly thinking about God. But it's not always what you own but what you do with it.  

I do realize that the reason we buy most of our gadgets is for productivity and convenience. I am starting to think that productivity and convenience are some of the biggest distractions ever. Sometimes they separate us from what's most important.


For example, in Africa it can take the women almost a full day just to get water. They have to climb hills, go through trails and then travel back with water on their back, sometimes even with kids with them. First off, they seem the most appreciative of the water and they would never accidentally take water for granted. They know it's worth. Also in that time they run into more of their friends, see more plants, animals and streams than when I just walk to the bathroom sink to fill up my cup. I certainly don't really understand the worth of that water, when I am done drinking I pour the little left down the sink.


I am not saying that getting water from a sink is bad. I am just seeing what I may be missing out. I could have more time to think, pray, meditate, learn on every water break. My simple every day things lost their adventure.


When people write me asking me what they should do to improve their relationship with God, I used to just tell them what I know works for me, which is take a walk, consistently, every night if you can. If you have the time to check your facebook, you have the time to take a walk. But I know now why the walks are helpful, because they aren't productive, I walk to a train track down the road, sit there then walk back home. Nothing accomplished, but I feel like I had a very honest and real conversation with my God. But if I am walking to the grocery store, I am thinking about what to buy, how much to get, how much money I have, paper or plastic, I rarely pray while running an errand. When doing nothing but sitting on the porch or walking, for some reason I just think about God.


"Be still and Know I am Holy" -God. 


Try this; walk away from this computer, in whatever room you are in, and sit there. You may have seen that you have unread messages/emails and you didn't yet update your status. But forget that for a second. Walk away from the computer, and sit down, even on the floor. Sit there until the lack of productivity is painful. I feel like when we are unproductive or bored it reveals to us where our relationship with God is and a lot of us stay productive to distract that. I think that is why this world is filled with workoholics because we don't want to face where we are with God. So many Christians that are fine with Jesus just being an acquaintance and not their Lord, because they are happy distracting themselves with this or that. Anytime we Christians think we are bored we should do a serious heart check, because we claim to be in relationship with the creator of the universe.


I was on a park bench yesterday waiting for something to open, and I had my cell phone and itouch, I was so in the habit of using one of them to pass the time, but I felt like God needed me to just sit there. That is when I started looking at the mulch, trees and bugs, remembering how much it all used to interest me and how much I used to learn from it. I use my possessions for a lot of good reasons, sometimes I don't, but if I can't handle the potential distractions they can become I should be able to get rid of anything in a heartbeat if needed. But it's not what I own, it's what I lack: self-control. 


Whatever we use for good the devil can use for evil. If we use our phones to keep in touch with friends on tour or to call friends for accountability, awesome. But we could also use our phones for gossip and text messaging while someone needs us to listen [which I have regretfully done both]. This goes for everything. I believe that everything in life is powerful. Everything in life can harm us. Sex, alcohol, facebook, movies, even the Bible. If used wrong, anything can be a very dangerous thing, even if it's a direct gift from God.


We can delete our myspace and cancel our facebook but you can never get rid of distractions. One time I was staying a friends house by myself and I was walking to another room and saw a seductive magazine on the floor, nobody was home and I started to get curious, but I fought it and decided to take a walk. While walking in the forrest, there was a porn magazine eye-level in a tree I walked by. That didn't make my attempt to avoid lust any easier. But I will always remember, that you can run from temptations or distractions, but without God you will just run into more distractions or even more difficult temptations.


The constant struggle I have is to not let things distract me from getting to know my Lord and my God. My good friend and I were talking about watching TV and movies and he said, what is the difference between watching TV/movies for 6 hours a day and shooting up heroine and staring at the ceiling? Sure there is a physical difference, but on the spiritual side of life, what is the real difference? I think this applies to internet and whatever else.


Another good friend said to me a long time ago, 'how do I get my father to stop reading the Bible and spend a little time with me'. From that I learned that even reading the Bible can separate you from your relationship with God and others. Not to mention people interpreting the Bible to do unGodly things. Even the Bible can be dangerous. 


We need to live life intentionally, realize that our lives are spiritual as much as physical. After knowing that we can see how even the most 'innocent' things can have a negative affect on us, physically and/or spiritually.


your friend,