I just started reading a new book, “Calm, Cool and Connected: 5 Digital Habits for a More Balanced Life” by Arlene Pellicane. The first chapter asked the question “do you find it difficult to sit through church without touching your phone?” I said, “YES!!!” My first thought was, of course I touch my phone I use my Bible app. Then I remembered something, I own a physical Bible. Actually, I own several. A big fat study Bible. A pocket Bible. My trimline Bible in a case with a carrying handle. And many more. I decided to bring my trimline Bible on Sunday morning. What a concept!
As the sermon began, I pulled out my phone. I did use it to download the pastor’s notes. (They actually use a QR code to get the sermon notes/fill-ins.) After writing in the fill-ins, I put my phone back into my purse and zipped it shut. Did I pay more attention? Yes. Did I feel a need to look at my phone? Yes. Did I give into the temptation? Nope. It liked following along in my Bible rather than the scripture on the screen overhead or on my phone. Also, I made some notes in my Bible too. I haven’t done that in ….. no clue how long. I liked the feel of the Bible in my hand as I walked in and out of the church. I used the pocket on the Bible cover to hold my sermon notes and pen. I found I was more connected to the entire morning by this small change.
Is there anything wrong with using the Bible app on your phone? Not at all. For me, I don’t stay on that app though. I wander to my emails, text messages and Facebook. As the hymn says, “prone to wander, Lord I feel it.” I felt it. The sermon is only 30-45 minutes. I used to be able to focus that long. I want to regain that attention span in my life. Will my thoughts wander like my fingers to a new app? Probably. Can I refocus them and retrain my brain? Yes. You see, I like our pastor and his teaching. I want to listen. I want to learn. I want to write in my Bible. So I’m going to be old school for a while and keep my phone zipped in my purse.
If you find yourself answering the question “do you find it difficult to sit through church without touching your phone?” with a resounding YES as I did, try for a tech free Sunday. See if you can regain your 45 minute attention span. I think it will inspire you. It did me.