I recently when through a quintessentially modern crisis.
My phone has started doing some strange things. I’m due for a new one, but I’m trying to hold out till tax time. The issue is that I’m nervous that this little device (that is just about the most necessary item that I carry on my person) may have it’s own schedule for death mapped out.
Simply put, I think the battery is dying. It goes on to the charger but seems to want to disconnect itself from any charge after around 60 seconds. Only to reconnect. Then disconnect 30 seconds later. Seeing my battery empty itself at an alarming rate in spite of it being on the charger; I was actually getting really worried about my phone dying.
At this point I should point out that earlier that day I quite by chance picked up one of my devotional books by Charles Ringma, this one was his book on Henri Nouwen’s writing. The first page I flipped to was on prayer. My eye’s fell on to this quote: “the person who does not pray has not learned to acknowledge his or her own humanity and vulnerability.” To boil that down, we don’t pray because we like to think that we can do it. That we are adequate. That we can in fact achieve some things apart from Jesus.
These thoughts were still bouncing around in my mind when I was fretting regarding my phone battery and as I was informing Alycia as to my predicament, these words somehow slipped out: “with everything that is going on at the moment, I literally cannot do even one day without my phone.”
I froze as I realised what I had just said. Almost immediately, I heard these words in my mind: “When was the last time you said that about prayer?”
Some of you may have heard me say before that from my time in the Philippines experiencing the awesome faith and devotion of folks whom haven’t a fifth of the resources we have, I have noticed that those without resources tend to reach for prayer, those with resources tend to reach for them first.
I include myself in this. Mouth agape, I realised that in that moment, my phone had become more critical to my ministry than prayer.
I hate admitting that, but there’s no other way to say it.
How did that happen? I wonder if it is because it so easy to allow ministry to become all about ‘getting things done’ and ‘moving things forward’ rather than taking the things of God and making them understandable and applicable to his people. Moreover, where does the energy come from for that task? Not from the power point that’s for sure.
So, maybe it was God’s way of tapping me on the shoulder and revealing to me the ditch I was heading for before I fell right into it. I’ve been reminded how easy it is for us to ‘reject the charging point’ and do serious damage to our own spiritual batteries by focusing more on our tools for the job, than the reason for the job.
I’m just glad my laptop is fully functional so that i can type this out and share it with you all.
Remember to recharge thyself.