Setting all the convenient apps that help keep me organized aside, and even the social media that can keep me connected or distract me, my phone allows me to connect with the people I love, people I want to encourage, people who can help me find timely information, and so on.
When I was in college, living a state away from my parents and friends, I had to save up minutes to talk occasionally instead of instantly. It’s nice to now be able to reach out and connect anytime. It’s a bit like living side by side even when we’re not.
That’s why I love it.
And why I hate it.
Okay, hate is a bit of an exaggeration. Sometimes, it frustrates me. Sometimes, the expectations to answer and respond weigh on me. I’m glad to be available…and need a break at times. When my phones rings or vibrates, I’m faced with a choice of availability: Should I be available to the person who is contacting me or to the person sitting in front of me? Maybe I’m not actually with anyone, but I might be immersed in something important, and that is availability, too.
Availability isn’t just answering when someone calls. There’s more to it than that.
And when I’m honest with myself, I know I can take a break anytime I want. If there’s an emergency, people will find me. I’m not likely to turn off my phone, so someone will call back if they need me badly.
I walk away from my phone quite often. I have very few notifications turned on, and only one that makes a sound. The blinking light of alert really doesn’t alarm me or drive me crazy. I don’t have nomophobia (a fear of having no mobile phone)…at least in short intervals. I can wait quite a while before checking my phone, but not nearly as long as I’d last between calls to my parents years ago.
But times have changed. We have technology we didn’t have before, and it’s not going away. Staying in touch, being available, isn’t such a bad thing. It’s a good reminder that God is always available. He doesn’t reject our calls. He’s not screening His texts. He doesn’t block, unfollow, or report us. He’s ready, eagerly anticipating our contact. He wants to hear from us, whether it’s to share our day, frustration, doubt, or celebrations. But we have to let Him communicate, too. Our relationship with Him isn’t one-sided.
He’s available for you. Are you available for Him?
Choose well. Stay connected. Be present.