"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17 NIV
I don't mean to sound like an old fuddy-duddy (yes, I realize just using that expression makes me sound like one), but I've spent much time recently thinking about smartphones. I am sure you've observed the same thing–that is, we are engrossed by them, nearly to idolization. Every time this little thing rings or beeps, it distracts us from whatever we are doing. "Ah, look, there's another cute kitten video!" When it's not actively demanding our attention, it calls to us silently, beckoning us to discard whatever else we were doing and "pick me up, "You haven't played your daily Soduku yet." Which isn't bad, except one game leads to an hour. (Guilty!)
So, what do cell phones have to do with today's scripture? It's that command "whatever you do." Our phones have become our principal form of communication, becoming a large part of that "whatever"; we email, text, post, and occasionally talk on them. They can be excellent tools; they allow us to stay in touch with family and old, long-distance friends. They also can serve as a tool to witness. We can post about the great things God has done and continues to do in our lives. Here is the cautionary part: what can be used for good can also be used for evil. The same devices can be used for ungodly purposes to spread hatred and division.
The inordinate amount of time draws us away from the words and deeds of Christ we should be doing. For example, when we consult our phones in the checkout lines, we miss out on a God-given opportunity to interact with the people around us. The time we spend playing games could be spent learning more about God by cracking open the Bible and praying or calling that person who's been on our minds.
Don't misunderstand; it's important to note that the Bible also teaches about the importance of rest and relaxation. However, there's a difference between taking a break for a bit of R&R and letting idleness take over our lives. The key is to find a healthy balance between work and rest and to use our time wisely for God's glory.
Heavenly Father, as we stand before your loving gaze, we pause to breathe in the truth of your word. Forgive us, Lord, for the times we've slipped into autopilot, forgetting to weave your presence into the tapestry of our day. Forgive us for the moments our words have stung, our actions unkind, and our hearts closed to your grace. Cleanse us with the living water of your forgiveness. Fill us with the overflowing love of Jesus so that it spills out in every gesture, smile, and breath. Let your words be our compass, guiding our steps toward righteousness and truth. May our words sing your praises, our deeds reflect your compassion, our smiles show your light, and our laughter be a melody of gratitude. Open our eyes to the blessings surrounding us – the warmth of your sunshine, the laughter of loved ones, the whispers of your presence. Help us to overflow with thankfulness, transforming every moment into a prayer of praise. In the name of Jesus, we surrender our will to yours. Weave us into the fabric of your community, a thread of unity in the tapestry of your love. Make us a beacon of hope, an instrument of peace, a living testament to the power of your grace. May everything we do, from the smallest whisper to the loudest act, be an offering to your glory. May our lives be a hymn of thankfulness, a vibrant dance in your name. Amen.