diary of grace

Abraham and Our Notification Center

So I'm just going to be honest and admit that sometimes I'm more in tune with the notifications constantly popping up on my lock screen than I am with Jesus' gentle voice. Yeah, it's not a good thing.

Somehow it's come to be the norm in our world to be more in touch with the Internet than with God. We're so focused on the world we can see that sometimes we entirely miss the one we can't.

I've been thinking a lot of late of Abraham living in the wilderness for year upon year and talking to God in open meadows under starry heavens. I see him waking up in his tent and quietly communing with God before he even begins his activities of the day. I see him walking the fields with his flocks and having long conversations with God. I see him standing by altars at midnight, listening to the voice of his Friend. There seems to be some kind of stillness that characterized his life after he bid adieu to his homeland. I can't imagine him rushing around his days complaining of not being able to find enough time to spend with God.

And there's this part of me that aches for that kind of quiet and aloneness with God. We don't spend years with little more than flocks and herds to distract us from constant communion with God. We don't live in that world anymore. Sometimes I think we'd be a whole lot better off if we did, but yeah, there's not much chance of that happening.

Somehow we've gotten used to constantly being in touch with another world. Not the heavenly one unfortunately, but the one labeled "Internet". I wonder if we have traded something deep and grand for something rather frivolous.

Don't get me wrong. In a lot of ways, the Internet is a huge blessing. I've come to understand a whole deeper level of friendship from the gift of being able to have deep and frequent communication with friends the other side of the country. But that's only one side of the story.

When we cannot have quiet hours with God because we feel like we constantly have to respond to our latest email, text, phone call, or FB notification, we are missing something huge.

It seems unbelievable to my little mind to imagine Abraham, if he were alive now, putting off conversations with God under the stars because he's on Facebook. I can't imagine him telling God he'll talk as soon as he finished texting such-and-such. I can't imagine him limiting his conversations with God by his own schedule or Notification Center. If he did, he wouldn't be half the spiritual giant I've thought he was.

And yet we do it. I honestly think he'd take one look at us and be horrified that we trade something so sublime for something so trivial.

I'm not here to say the Internet is of the devil. I don't believe that to be completely true. But maybe it is time that we take stock of our lives and see if we are missing something huge.

My own reckoning led me to turn off all notifications except for phone calls and uninstall FB on my phone (more cumbersome to use a computer which naturally limits time). I don't want the world-and-his-wife coming looking for me all day long when I should be with Jesus. I don't want constant distraction. I think back to all those times that Jesus and I were in the middle of a deep discussion, or about to get started, and some trivial distraction caught my attention and pulled me away from Him. I'm ready to be done with that.

That doesn't mean I don't have a gazillion things to learn on the topic. But I'm ready to begin learning.

Because who said we couldn't have the experience Abraham had? Who said we had to miss out on that kind of sublime life? Who said constant conversations with God were only for the Patriarchs?

I'm not ready to settle for less of Jesus. More Jesus, less Internet? Yeah, sign me up.

Join me?

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Hannah Rayne

​22. INFJ. Lover of Jesus. Dean. Bible Teacher. Graduate of Masters of Biblical Counseling.

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