Christianity, Culture, Faith

Idol Distraction

Warning:  This post is faith-based, so turn back if this is not your cup of tea.

I read today that the average phone user checks his phone 150 times a day. 150?  Not me. I can go a couple days without looking at my phone.  I spent enough time answering phones at former jobs, that I avoid it all costs in real life.  And I don’t text.  Ever.  So that makes me better than you, right?  No, it doesn’t.  Because I check my email and facebook and this very WordPressy blog nation.  Sometimes several times a day.  I’m guilty of wanting to be entertained and amused. Constantly.  Anything to escape a harsh reality, the huge dip in the 401K, the unpeace in the Middle East, the recession–basically everything the Today show reports in the pre-9am hour, before they get to the fun stuff.

But as I was reading the chapter Isaiah today (in my Bible), about men making wooden idols out of the very thing used to bake their bread, I thought about men making pocketsized idols out of plastic. Little screens that show movies and play music and have games, all the things the devil uses to distract us from what’s real and important.  That is no different than a golden calf, no different than making an idol of our job, of our economic status, of the bling on our aging skin.  But that’s not who we are; that’s not what matters.

I don’t want to be the teen I saw, skating circles at the roller rink, staring at her ipad instead of engaging in the present moment, with the flesh and blood humans around her. I read my Bible in a book made of paper because I imagine if I read it on a screen, I would be tempted to check shinier bells and whistles on that screen as soon as I left the scripture. Instead of letting it sink in.

Ever since 9/11, little ticker tapes of needless information have run across the bottom of the TV screen, and they run across our minds. And then we lie awake at night, wondering why we can’t slow down, why we can’t let it go.

I admit I enjoy all these distractions, the ease of randomly picking a topic, doing a search, and then reading a post about it.  Sometimes informative and engaging, even.  But we won’t lie on our deathbeds, regretting we didn’t read enough blogs or check enough status updates. Facebook will be as over as myspace by then. Will WordPress exist?  And how much crazier could it get?  Will we have chips implanted in our heads like Humane Society dogs, telling us the time and temperature and names of celebrity babies just birthed?  It is so hard to detach and let go.  There is too MUCH information.  It’s like trying to decide on a dessert at The Cheesecake Factory.  We went from flipping through immediately outdated copies of Encylopedia Brittanica in gradeschool to having access to the power of Google–the world at our fingertips.  We never have to wonder about song lyrics again.

But I need to check myself and remind myself what to read first thing when I awake.  It’s not this.  It’s not my phone.  It’s not facebook.  It’s not TV.  But it IS the source of all that matters.

14 thoughts on “Idol Distraction”

  1. Well said young lady. I have lost track of the times I have noticed people having a meal “together” all the while ignoring one another and chatting or texting on their phones. I don’t even have one anymore. Keep the faith.


    1. Thanks, Tanya. I just got really convicted today. (It’s a hard subject, since having phones DOES give folks constant access to scripture, though, doesn’t it?)


  2. Much like Huxley, I find technology to be morally neutral. It’s the person who uses it for the benefit or detriment of the situation. It seems as though people don’t take a step back and think philosophically or spiritually as much as they should.


  3. I heard a pastor on the radio just yesterday say that when he was on an airplane recently, reading a Bible (made of paper), a nearby passenger started asking him questions about. The conversation led to greater spiritual understanding of the Bible and salvation through trusting Jesus Christ. If it had been an electronic Bible, the person might have thought the pastor was just goofing off, instead of studying the Bible. Good reason to be seen reading a bound Bible. I think almost all of us need to go on a technology fast. How quickly we would realize our time-wasting addiction.


  4. You know me, sugar pie, and I ain’t religious, but this is far and away one of the best blog posts I have read recently. I find it can apply to anything, not just the bible! I love the fact that you have likened the ipones and electronic devices to idols. These things are starting to rule our lives and distract from things that are real. I shall reblog this one, for sure!


    1. Aw, thanks. I’m not trying to church you to death, but we all can relate to how society has changed in our lifetimes, as we idolize these little contraptions.


  5. Reblogged this on Strawberryquicksand and commented:
    I sure as hell am not religious (so apologies to any of my godfearing followers) but I just LOVE the point that our dear Kerbey of I Don’t Get It makes. Have a read, and a think. And leave that phone alone for five minutes!


  6. Hola! I’ve been following your weblog for a long time now and finally got
    the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Texas!
    Just wanted to mention keep up the good job!


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