At about 5:00 yesterday morning a terrible thing happened to me. I woke up to the music playing on my iPhone, same as I do everyday, after laying in bed for a moment wrestling with whether I really wanted to get up, I unplugged my phone, plugged in my earphones, put on some basketball shorts and a sweater, and proceeded to sort my dirty laundry for washing before taking my morning run. After I finished putting my laundry into the washing machine, I looked at the time on my phone: 5:07. I decided to take a quick piss before I went on my run. As I reached for the toilet handle after I finished, my phone somehow slipped out of my pocket and into the toilet. I reacted too quickly to think, the toilet was flushing and my phone was in the water! I reached into the toilet, pulled it out, and dropped it on the rug, and stared at it for a few seconds.
That’s when I remember my brain catching up.
Damn. I thought silently, marking the first time I’ve ever reacted to something by cursing…. If you knew me in high school, I never cursed. I only do it now when I intentionally want to add weight to whatever statement I’m making. I do it to make a point, essentially, it’s a tool for me. Not yesterday. It just slipped out before I had any idea it was there. I was the tool…
The screen was still on and my flashlight app was on it. I picked up the phone and turned it off. The flashlight stayed on. I cursed again. Then the phone turned itself back on. Crap. “Are you freaking serious?” I tried again. The touchscreen wouldn’t work. Then it did! It turned off! Then it came back on… The flashlight never went off. In fact, it started strobing and then weakening at random intervals. Since it obviously wasn’t going to go off, I decided to keep it on. I wiped it off with some paper towels and since the screen was working, tried to play some music. It only worked when the headphones were in. Whatever! I was so frustrated at that point that all I wanted to do was run, so I did, with my music in the earphones, my flashlight still tweaking on me, and phone in hand to let it air out.
It kept acting kind of buggy for the rest of the run, and I eventually got some rice to submerge it in (which has helped significantly even after just 12 hours!) It’ll be in there until Saturday for sure though. But that’s not why I’m telling you this story.
I’m telling you this story to let you know that some good came out of this.
“What good?” you ask?
Well, God showed me one of my idols… It made me curse twice, put me in a bad mood for the entire day, made me (VERY briefly) angry at God, consumed every idle thought, was the last thing I thought about before falling asleep last night, was the first thing I thought about when I woke up this morning, and even has me worried right now about who is and isn’t trying to contact me. If you asked me over the last few weeks if my iPhone was becoming an idol, then I would’ve said “No,” and had lots of evidence to back it up. I’ve been intentionally taking small measures to ensure that it doesn’t become one, but I guess I haven’t been taking enough of them…
If you know me and you’re reading this, ask me how my iPhone idolatry is going when you see me, ask me if I’ve taken time without it or turned it off recently, ask me if it’s the first and last thing I do every day, pray for me, something! Please help me not to get too addicted to this thing any way you can think to! Thank you so much!
If you don’t know me, you can still pray if you even care to. Otherwise, just check yourself, is your phone more important than your family, friends, jobs, chores, God? What about your laptop? Your car? Your video game system, iPod, clothing, or whatever it may be, is it more important than the things that really matter? Ask the people around you, if they’re really honest with you (and not addicted themselves) they’ll tell you! If you are, what are you going to do to change that? It’s worth some serious thought.